Club day gives students the opportunity to develop new interests


Photo by Jeremy Chung

Hundreds of WCHS students crowd inside the gym on Sep. 16 for the annual Club day. With over 180 tables set up, many found it challenging to find their way around to each club.

By Jeremy Chung, News Editor

During most school days, lunch is the time for students to relax, hang out with friends, make up assignments or talk with teachers. However, Sep. 16 had a unique opportunity. As fourth period ended and the sound of the lunch bell rang throughout the hallways, hundreds of eager and excited students congregated outside the gym for the highly anticipated annual event: the Club Fair.

While the crowd outside was growing, club officers inside the gym prepped their tables, set out the candy, opened their tri-folds and waited for the doors to open. Five minutes later, staff members opened the doors, and Club Day commenced with a roar.

“There were people swarming everywhere with walkways completely blocked,” WCHS senior and President of HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) Sayuri Modi said. “It felt a bit overwhelming from all the booths and noise, yet also exciting to see the cool things students have planned.”

With 180 clubs available at WCHS in various categories such as athletic clubs, honor societies and academic clubs, many students don’t know about all the happenings that fit their interests. This is when Club Day comes in handy.

“Club Day is a time to show passion for your interests,” WCHS junior Kevin Peng and co-President of the Churchill Competitive Coding Club (CCC) said. “It’s nice to walk around and see what other clubs have to offer.”

The CCC is one of the newest clubs for the 2022-23 school year, which strives to introduce members to competitive programming and compete in various coding competitions and hackathons such as ACSL and USACO. Like many other new clubs, standing out to prospective members is a challenge they face, and whether they can succeed or not relies solely on their presence at Club Day.

“While there are many STEM-based clubs, the Competitive Coding Club is very niche. No other STEM-based clubs focus this heavily on the algorithm side of programming,” Peng said. “I’m looking forward to getting all our members to attend coding competitions. [These competitions] aren’t really in the mainstream yet, so this is a good chance to popularize this type of contest at Churchill.”

For WCHS senior and DECA Vice President Lucy Chen, participating in her final Club Day made her reminisce about her past experiences as an underclassman and how her mindset has changed.

“Right as the doors were opening, I had a flashback of when I was a freshman. Walking into Club Day without a clue of where to go—I realized now it’s my turn to find eager students and introduce them to our club’s opportunities,” Chen said. “I’m glad that I passed by the DECA stand as a freshman and decided to sign up, as it has led me to make so many friends and build my foundation in business-related concepts.”

Across the gym from the CCC was DECA, a prominent business-centered club at WCHS. It strives to make members college and career ready by participating in state and national business competitions, as well as hosting numerous non-competitive events such as a Sports Business Day with the Washington Commanders and a trip to DC for a conference known as the Power Trip. 

DECA has been running at WCHS for over five years, and the club has no plans of stopping. Chen hopes DECA will maintain the same success as they have had in previous years, including members winning first place at the DECA International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Atlanta, Ga. last year, while also continuing to grow the club as they’ll prepare to return to ICDC in Orlando, Fla.

“We received over 150 total sign-ups, of which over 26% were freshmen,” Chen said. “All of our officers did a great job communicating effectively to interested students at our stand despite the chaotic environment. As a club already successful for many years, our main goal is to make DECA accessible to everyone, …[and] I know for certain that we have an eager and passionate officer team that is truly dedicated to spreading DECA’s resources to those interested.”

Despite a successful Club Day, Peng acknowledges the problems students face and solutions the WCHS administration can invoke to improve the Club day experience.

“[The CCC’s table] was located in the back, so it was pretty quiet in the beginning. Halfway through lunch, however, it got so crowded that I couldn’t see the stand in front of me,” Peng said. “Tables should be spread throughout the gym, Bulldog Lobby and cafeteria so that clubs can have more space to express themselves. In addition, lunch should also be longer on club day in order to give students more time to experience clubs and find more clubs that they enjoy.”

Overall, the main point is clear: expectations are high, and WCHS students can’t wait to begin a new school year for clubs. Although Club Day has ended, this is just the beginning for meetings to be held, relationships to be fostered, lessons to be learned and success to be achieved.