Student Union endorses seven new clubs to begin next semester


Samira Li

Seven new clubs were passed this year, more then ever before.

HTML tutorial

This term, the Student Union reviewed many club applications by students. Recently, seven club leaders received word that their proposals passed. 

Overseen by Student Union Club Liaison Vinesh Holiprasad, the club application process began in February. Applicants needed to first gather 50 signatures from each grade, along with the signatures of the Coordinator of Student Activities, a dean, the Club Liaison, the SU President, a potential advisor, and an SU Board Member. 

COSA Jamie Baranoff said, “36 applications were submitted, and seven passed, with few still in the appeals process. We approved more this year than we ever had before.” 

According to Vinesh, the seven newly accepted clubs were On the Same Page, Spirit Squad, Mediterranean/Middle Eastern Culture Club, Cosmetology Club, Parliamentary Academic Debate Team, Crimson and Gold Yearbook Club, and Ceramics Club.

President of On the Same Page Book Club, Adeola Adeyinka, spoke to The Classic about her club. 

Previously attending  a school with no library, she felt inspired by the library at THHS to pursue her book club passion. Although the SU rejected the club during her junior year, she said “The Reading Initiative started, and I spoke to Ms. Laverde, and it shared a lot of the same ideas that I included in my proposal last year.” This influenced her to re-apply.

“This club is supposed to be more representative of people’s cultures and backgrounds. We are trying to advocate for books that are more culturally diverse,” said Adeola. She emphasized that she wants people to be able to read books and see themselves in it. 

Junior Vanessa Ezuizo, said she is excited to join this club “so [she] can be more motivated and have a reason to read more.”

The founders of the Parliamentary Debate Team (Parli) are juniors Michael Babayev, Harshdeep Singh, and Jeremy Fernandes.

They said, “we wanted to give formal training on Parliamentary Debate. The nature of this debate style does not allow debaters to memorize scripts and instead, they have to deliver speeches on random topics (with only 15 minutes to prepare).” They also mentioned they wanted to “create a platform where speakers of all skill levels are welcome not only to learn and improve but to compete in tournaments where they can be challenged and recognized.” 

In the beginning stages of their application process, they contacted the onboarding director of the New York Parliamentary Debate League for logistical support. They said, “We want to make our members confident and effective speakers and allow them to learn skills that can apply outside of our team.”

Freshman Fariba Akter said, “Parliamentary debate seems to be new and exciting, which is why I want to try it out. It’s a good opportunity for me to improve my public speaking skills too.”

The presidents of Ceramics Club are Stephanie Zhang and Zara Afzal. After noticing the ceramic tiles in the lobby and tiles discovering that there was a ceramics kiln in the school that remained idle, the leaders “wanted to revive the passion for ceramics and bring it to Townsend.” Stephanie had also heard of a ceramics elective at QC from upper-level students, so she knew that people were interested in ceramics. 

“We are excited to gather everyone and actually make the art because it’s a fun process itself and we’re looking forward to doing community service events because we will be working at a nursing home too which is really exciting because that would provide experience to our club members,” Zara said. 

Sophomore Kristi Kim said she is interested in the club because she wants “to improve [her] mental health [while playing] around with the clay.”

The founders of Mediterranean/Middle Eastern Club, Juliana Crino, Christelle Diab, and Jacqueline Lowenhaupt, started the club because “[they] felt that our culture wasn’t really represented in this school. So this was the perfect opportunity to make Townsend even more inclusive.” They have a strong passion for their culture, and “we want to teach others about our customs, traditions, foods we eat, and history.” said Jacqueline. 

Noticing the amount of interests students have, Ms. Baranoff said, “We have such a diverse community of students who have so many different interests, so we hope that this will open up new doors for all of our students and that people will be able to sort of find a home somewhere.”