Macaulay Honors Club Fair Reels in FreshmenDanielle Jude Langlois
Freshmen in the Macaulay Honors program, eager to start their college lives, attended the Macaulay club fair August 24th in the faculty dining room on Hunter West's eighth floor. Many of the student clubs and organizations had tables at the event designed to attract students interested in contributing to the Hunter community.
The club that seemed to garner the most interest was the Peer Health Exchange. Their representative, Ilirjan Gjonbalaj, a senior in the Biochemistry program said that the club “gives teenagers the knowledge and skills they need to make healthy decisions.” Gjonabalaj also said the club takes trips around the city to give ninth graders health advice on specific topics which the club specializes in including: drugs, nutrition, physical activity, sexual decision making, rape, sexual assault, and pregnancy prevention. This year they will be introducing a new workshop on mental health. Gjonbalaj said, “No matter what major you are, you will find something in this experience to reward and compliment all the skills that you already have.”
There were also many clubs that celebrated the diversity at Hunter College. The Coalition for the Revitalization of Asian American Studies at Hunter College (CRASH) drew attention from the incoming freshmen. Wen Hao Wang, a senior in Media Studies and Creative Writing, said CRASH’s goal was to create awareness among students to the Asian American studies program – which had been suspended until recently – in an effort to maintain and improve the program. To achieve this they will be holding mixers, film screenings, and discussion panels regarding ethnic studies throughout the semester.
The German Club stressed that their club was the place for students who wanted to learn to appreciate German culture. Katherine Maller, a senior studying English and German, said club activities included watching German films and attending lectures given by professors on German history and culture. “We visit restaurants and museums. Usually, once a semester, we have an outing to a restaurant that the German club pays for,” she said. She added that students were not required to speak German, but that the meetings were a great place to learn or practice.
Hillel at Hunter, the Jewish club on campus, holds a Shabbat dinner at the Brookdale dormitories every month. Hillel also does what they call the “midnight run” once a month where they distribute sandwiches and donate clothing to homeless people. Their engagement and programming associate, Sam Schachter, said that the club is open to all students, not only those who identify as Jewish. Members at the Hillel table emphasized that they make an effort to work with other organizations, like the LGBT, German, and Political Science clubs to collaborate on events for students.
Students attending the fair seemed to agree that getting involved in the clubs at Hunter College could be an investment for the future. While each club had something unique to offer, the theme of becoming involved in a community was near universal at the fair, a message that the incoming freshman seemed eager to accept.