Activities, volunteer fairs engage students in ETHS community

Ella Cleary, Staff Writer

In the last month, the school has organized and hosted two separate events designed to inform students about activities outside of class, the Student Activities Fair and the Volunteer Fair.

On Wednesday Sept. 14, students, club leaders and staff members joined in the Fieldhouse for this year’s Activity Fair. Each club had a table to present information about their club and encourage students to join. Students could get involved in their community, join new activities and dive into their interests.  

“[Joining clubs] helps students be well-rounded. You get more than just academics and just meeting people in your classes; you can meet people that are like minded or have like interests in clubs or activities,” Katharine Rosemond, Student Activities Coordinator, said. 

Joining clubs is one of the best ways for students to get involved at school, meet new people and get out of their comfort zones by trying new things. On top of that, clubs like Emerge, S.O.A.R (Students Organized Against Racism), Community Service Club and Gender & Sexuality Alliance are ways for students to find community and create change at ETHS and in our community at large. 

“I believe that real change will come to the city, this community, this country, via young people, and getting active now. And creating a platform or pushing a platform now really will help them be invested when they get older. So when it’s time to start voting, or time to get politically active, when they’re young adults or even older adults, I think it’s important to lay that foundation now,” says Rosemond.

Despite the already vast amount of clubs at ETHS, 79 to be exact, many students want to expand the selection of activities available. Many students do so by creating new clubs that allow students with shared interests to gather.

“In order to start a new club, students need to have an idea of what they want to do, how they would like it to turn out and then they need to find a sponsor, an adult in this building who’s willing to volunteer their time to be there. …Once they have that information, there is a form on the [ETHS] website, under the Get Involved page,” Rosemond said.

Two weeks after the student activity fair, the Community Service Office hosted the Volunteer Fair in the Fieldhouse. Students could find volunteer opportunities and learn about community organizations in and around Evanston.

“So the volunteer fair happens every year, usually a week or a couple of weeks after the activity fair. And it’s hosted by our office, and we invite a whole bunch of community organizations to come in and table and tell students about how they can get involved in these organizations and find volunteer opportunities. So it’s like the activity fair, and that it’s a chance for students just to learn how they can get more involved in their community. And we have organizations both within ETHS and from Evanston, Skokie and beyond, all of whom are looking for volunteers and are happy to talk with high schoolers about what that would look like,” Erin Claeys, NU PIP Community Service Intern, said.

Community service is a great way for students to learn about themselves and their community, help others, and gain new skills.

“When you volunteer, you get to learn a lot of skills that you don’t necessarily learn in the classroom, there’s a lot of like practical, hard skills, like how to take direction, how to talk to adults, how to communicate your ideas, how to be responsible, and dependable. And those skills are transferable to jobs, colleges, all these kinds of things that most students are looking for after they graduate… Community service is a great way to get students thinking about life goals, and thinking about like morals and ethics and where you land on things and what you really care about. It allows you to kind of dip your toes into exploring different issues,” said Claeys.

Getting involved at ETHS and in its community through clubs and community service is one of the best ways for students to meet new people, start thinking about the future, grow as a person and most importantly, have fun.