Club rooms make room for FON

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Festival of Nations (FON) is an exhilarating time for students across all grade levels. However, hosting practices often overlap room assignments with other clubs, which have priority over the space.

Assistant Principal of Organization Ellen Fee emphasizes the importance of preserving clubs amidst FON season and in avoiding a decline in attendance. She said, “FON is seasonal and optional and we want clubs to be able to meet as usual throughout the year and not compete with FON practice.”

It is difficult, however, to avoid scheduling clashes. Senior Elizabeth Katanov, president of the American Sign Language club, said, “There have been times when Hispanic FON booked our [club] room and the room was being used…there was poor communication all throughout the system.” 

While having clubs and FON groups share rooms causes confusion, students adjust to the circumstances. Junior Anika Rahman said, “For Chinese Feather Fan FON, I didn’t know there was a club meeting in that room… our FON leader made us move to a different empty room last minute. It was a minor inconvenience.” 

FON groups and clubs have often cooperated to resolve these issues. Senior Wilma Aung, co-president of the Get Your Life Together (GYLT) club, said, “Many club members have to leave early for FON practices, so I’ve shortened club meetings from half an hour to a brief 15 minutes.” Senior Samantha Lee, co-president of rhyTHm K-Pop Dance, also said, “Bollywood FON held practice in [our room]… but we let them take the room since we only had five people attend the club meeting.”

On the other hand, sophomore Lauren Choi mentioned, “Meetings for big clubs, like Key Club, still take place at the same time and room. There are rarely any shortened meetings, but the attendance is going down a lot since some people have practice at that time.”

Samantha added, “It’s not surprising to see attendance drop so drastically, but I wish FON wasn’t such a major aspect of Townsend culture. Sometimes it feels like all anyone ever does is SING! and FON. There are other things to do in school.”

Though this may grow to be an issue, Ms. Fee stressed that “most communication is between the FON group and club leaders… Whenever there’s a seasonal activity… there’s a tendency to limit club time, but… we’d like to protect our values and culture for club activity as much as possible.”

Photo by Nikki Ng, managing editor.