Club Fair Kickoff: Jags, Clubs, and All!

Kara Warren and Alexandria Williams

   On a typical Friday, the best part of your day might be leaving school and kicking off your weekend. But on Friday, September 16, SGA’s Club Fair was the only thing on your mind. You, and hundreds of other students raced to the cafeteria as soon as the closing bell rang. As you dove between all of the peers you couldn’t recognize, it became clear that everyone had one thing in common: they all had to get into the Club Fair.

   After the rushed preparations, the cafeteria doors finally opened! But what was inside was so much more than what we all expected. About 45 clubs filled the room, with posters, banners, and sweets to attract you to their table. According to Nathan Josue, the junior senator on the SGA board, the event completely exceeded practically everyone’s expectations. Nathan was one of the many students who helped plan and execute the Club Fair in its entirety. “I always knew that a good amount of students would attend, but we mainly focused on targeting the underclassmen so they could become more familiar with what PPCHS has to offer. Seeing the hundreds of kids lining up at the door, just proved how even small ideas can have such great impacts.” 

   Looking around the room in awe of what SGA could accomplish, only gave him more hope for the 2022-23 school year. “I’m so glad to have worked on this with the rest of my team. Everyone won on Friday: the clubs, the students, and SGA!”

   The club leaders gave astounding reviews as well. Caitlyn Babyak, president of the newly-founded Jewish Student Union, personally approached Mr. Jablonka when the event ended. “I just had to thank him for putting this together. There was so much positive energy in the room, and we could all see the excitement on everyone’s faces.” 

   Since JSU’s debut, Caitlyn’s had trouble with getting people to join the club, and to show interest in what it has to offer. “Before the club fair, I had to really push people to join.” But since then, her club has grown from 8 members to about 30. “My main goal was to establish a good foundation for JSU before I graduate. Thanks to the Club Fair, I’m confident that it’ll only keep expanding.”

   Yet, JSU wasn’t the only club whose membership multiplied. Even older clubs, including Relay for Life, HIP (Health Information Project), Dance Marathon, and First Priority were able to catch the attention of students cruising from booth-to-booth. 

   Mr. Jablonka’s hopes for the Club Fair all sprouted from his own time here, at Pines Charter. Being a PPCHS alumnus and the new SGA advisor, he understands how difficult it can be to get involved while trying to balance academic and extracurricular activities. “I wanted students to become more involved and feel closer together as a school community within the clubs. Giving opportunities to show what our school can offer–in terms of extra-curriculars–was to encourage as many students as possible to get involved on campus.”

   After an hour of students blending with one another and music blasting, the cafeteria began to empty. But the spirit on campus remains. Remarkable reviews from students, staff, and administration concluded SGA’s very first event of the year. “The excitement that filled campus on Friday, is only a fraction of what we’re going to see this year,” says Mr. Jablonka. With many more new projects in store and encouragement cultivating around the school, we all can’t wait to see what else the Student Government Association has up their sleeve!