Nearly every morning meeting, senior Charles Thomas bellows a familiar phrase: “Fan Club!” Thomas and senior Jackson Margolis are reminding students to show up at the club’s meeting, where they can participate in creating decorations for school events.
The club, created by math teacher Patricia Jacobsen and Margolis in January, has grown to 28 members, making it the largest active club on campus. It spans the high school, with participation from all four grades.
“Our goal is to provide students an outlet to help spread spirit on campus and get people to attend events,” said Margolis, the club’s “CEO.”
The club has put out multiple posters and decorated athletes’ lockers, and members attend sports events, according to Margolis.
Sophomore midfielder Nihal Gulati watches as the Fan Club CEO, senior Jackson Margolis, leads members and students in the soccer team’s send-off for its first-round playoff match.
Club members usually meet at flex period on Tuesdays and Thursdays to brainstorm ideas for posters and decorations, according to junior co-president Lili Brush.
“(Junior co-president Sydney Turner) and I get all the supplies necessary to create decorations,” Brush said. “We get goody bags, posters, candy, decorative glitter and streamers. Then the (club members) organize and assemble those components during club meetings.”
Margolis said the club’s next goal is to hold a shooting contest with a teddy bear prize at halftime of basketball games.
Margolis said he noticed a decrease in school spirit on campus and began thinking about a way to spread enthusiasm.
“I noticed that with more and more students playing sports and (participating) in intense extracurricular activities, there were way fewer students going to school events and games,” Margolis said. “It just seemed as though people weren’t getting as excited about events because there were no posters up, and no one was getting any goodie bags. There was no energy.”
Chief brainstormer Felix Wu, a freshman, and co-president Sydney Turner, a junior, organize goody bags.
The club started when Jacobsen approached Margolis about this problem.
“She proposed the idea to start a fan club where we would spread the word about school events such as Mock Trial scrimmages, sports games and band performances,” he said. “So we started making posters and announcements. It’s really not that much work — just a way to put more cheer on campus.”
Jacobsen said she wanted to get students “pumped up” about events.
“(Last year) was the first year that I didn’t do Student Council, and I really missed it,” Jacobsen said. “I had a little bit of extra time.”
Sophomore soccer player Jordan Lindsay said she appreciates the Fan Club’s efforts.
“A lot of the time sports games go unrecognized,” Lindsay said. “But this year, I noticed more students (and parents) showing up. It makes the players feel more supported, and that way, it’s more fun to play.”
Margolis attributes the growth of the club — which had four members (Jacobsen, Margolis, Brush and Turner) last year — to his and Thomas’ recruitment efforts during this year’s morning meetings.
“Charles joined this year and told me that we should make more announcements at morning meeting,” Margolis said. “Once we started going up there, people got more and more excited, and the club grew to 15 and then 20.
“But the main way I recruit students is by just talking to them during lunch. I tell them there are free snacks and that you don’t have to do work. You can just sit there and laugh at our jokes, and you’re in (the club) 100%.”
Fan Club also has a social media presence on Instagram (@scdsfanclub).
“We pass our information through our social media; our Instagram account already has over 80 followers,” Margolis said.
According to Brush, it was difficult to do everything with only four members.
“We didn’t have enough time to make all the posters and decorate the lockers,” she said. “It became a chore, but we still wanted to spread spirit. So we tried again this year, and now a lot of people are in the club, helping us out.”
Margolis said Fan Club is popular because of what it allows students to do.
Assistant marketing director Jacob Chand, a freshman, inflates a balloon.
“I knew people were actually passionate and excited about the school,” he said. “They just didn’t have a way to show it. Fan Club provides any student with the opportunity to help out, in some way, with school events.”
Jacobsen said another reason for the club’s popularity is its openness.
“Since there is no standard meeting time,” she said, “we have some meetings with 12 members and some with 20. Whoever is free at that time can attend. It’s a lot more manageable for the students that way.”
“Occasionally, (members) will say they can’t come in that day, and it’s not that big of a deal,” he said. “It’s all voluntary; everyone is there because they care and are passionate about what we do. No one is doing it for college applications or anything. It’s for fun. That’s what makes it such an appealing club. Nothing is required.”
Jacobsen said she lets the students run everything.
“I don’t do much,” she said. “Last year, I would go to the store and get all the goody bags and snacks. But this year, it’s totally student-run. I try not to talk as much during meetings, and I just let them do all the shopping and work.”
Margolis is optimistic about the club’s future.
“Even though I’m graduating, along with all the other seniors in the club, there are so many people in it who care about it and want it to become a great club,” he said.
—By Arijit Trivedi
Originally published in the Nov. 12 edition of the Octagon.