New and original clubs excited to restart

Students play Spikeball during a clubs period – Jack Suter ’23

As the lasting effect of the pandemic dwindles, extracurricular activities return to the school campus. Aside from the return of major clubs including Model UN, Speech & Debate, and Mock Trial, many upperclassmen, with support from teacher advisors, started their own clubs, further enriching the school curriculum outside the classroom.

Partnering with Mr. Keefe, Fifth Former Nathan Mirin founded the Classics Club to encourage the appreciation of classic literature.

“In the Classics Club, we read books― really old books. It’s a club for fun, not high stress,” Mirin said. “For the selection of in-class readings, the English Department is phasing out the classics in favor of new books. It makes sense to do so during the pandemic, but if you still want to read a good classics book, the Classics Club offers a relaxed curriculum for reading.”

Mirin shares his own experience with classic novels. He hopes to expand the community of readers at Haverford and spread the joy of reading.

“We get to see the first product; we get to see how things evolve. We can see not only how these books influenced our society, but how society influenced these books.”

Nathan Mirin ’23

“Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pride and Prejudice, these classics have been [read] thousands, no, millions of times. They are like time capsules,” Mirin said. “You can come here and you can hear stories thousands of years old. We get to see the first product; we get to see how things evolve. We can see not only how these books influenced our society, but how society influenced these books.”

Aside from the art of literature for intellectual improvements, athletics are also making a comeback. 

“We’re a brand new club, as we’ve only had one meeting so far. Our intention is to make boys more familiar with the sport of archery,” Archery Club’s teacher advisor Mr. Leech said.

“I was officially qualified as an archery coach, and I’ve taught it for over 12 years. I spent a lot of time teaching boys the fine skills of archery, whether that’s in camps or club-based sessions,” Mr. Leech said. “Ryan Gibson, who’s a student leader, approached me and asked me if I’d be happy to be the proctor, and it just seemed like a good idea to me.”

The Archery Club will host weekly meetings on the school campus for discussions concerning the sport, as well as special events to try out the sport at archery ranges.

“We are not going to do any archery on campus, but we look forward to the opportunity to go to some archery ranges after school or during weekends. It’s an early stage plan, but there are a few clubs around the area that we can reach out to,” Mr. Leech said.

Another Third former, TJ Romero, partnered with Dr. Gurtler to bring volleyball to the Upper School.

“We have a very established volleyball program at the middle school. The club was started at the behest of the freshmen named TJ Romero, who plays a lot of volleyball and wants to continue to play, so I offered to support him,” Volleyball Club advisor Dr. Gurtler said.

Adding on to student interests, Dr. Gurtler has been a great volleyball player herself since college.

“I’m from a family that played a lot of volleyball. We were big supporters of our college team in my hometown. I had a mom who played Division One volleyball, and I played Division I and in Division III at Michigan State and at Wellesley College,” Dr. Gurtler said.

Dr. Gurtler adds how the Volleyball Club is an inclusive, intramural environment for all. 

“We’re playing during the meeting on Fridays. The meet-ups are for people who want to come out and learn a few skills as well as having fun,” Dr. Gurtler said. “During the first meeting, there were six of us who played, so we got to play three on three. People have hidden skills in volleyball, and I was surprised to learn.”

As new clubs are established, Fifth Formers Luca Sekulic and Aiden Boyle decide to revive an old club and continue its heritage. 

“[W]e want to continue the idea that Haverford students can inteact with each other not just academicmally, but in more physical and outdoor curriculums.”

Luca Sekulic ’23

“The Lawn Games Club was originally founded by Grayson Walker, and we want to continue the idea that Haverford students can interact with each other not just academically, but in more physical and outdoor curriculums,” Sekulic said. “This is also an opportunity for everyone to take their masks off and participate in something that they love to do.”

The Lawn Games Club creates an easy going atmosphere for all students. 

“During our team meetings, we first gather in Miss LaPenta’s room, get some donuts, and then head down to the baseball field. We take off our masks and play some spike ball, soccer, and baseball,” Sekulic said, “We’re planning on bringing in more nets and having some tournaments. We’re also planning to move to the wrestling room during winter because we want to continue playing and socializing.”

The club attracted the attention of many students as they flocked to attend the first meeting on Friday the first. 

“In the first meeting we had over 30-40 attendees,” Sekulic said. “We want this to become a part of our culture. We want it to continue on after the current leaders leave, and keep this opportunity for everyone to be together.”

Author: Jingyuan Chen '23

Jingyuan Chen has written for The Index since 2019. His news piece “Inside the middle school construction project” and his opinion “What can the U.S. learn from Chinese media censorship?” each earned a Silver Key from the 2020 Philadelphia-area Writing Awards.