Changing the Status Quo

Stuyvesant students often explore humanities-centered clubs and have interests in humanities subjects, even in a strongly STEM-oriented school.

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Stuyvesant has over 150 student-led clubs ranging from those focused on community service, such as the Stuyvesant Key Club or Stuyvesant Red Cross, to those based around the performing arts, including Stuyvesant Theater Community and StuyStep. In addition to these well-known clubs, there are many lesser-known clubs. However, many of these clubs are undiscovered by the student body and will often die out once the founder or current president graduates. An interesting subset of these lesser-known clubs to consider are those that have more humanities-oriented objectives. While Stuyvesant is traditionally considered to be focused more on math and science, many students here have found an interest in humanities-related subjects.

Most people who tend to express themselves through art often use traditional forms of art, such as painting, drawing, and writing, but a few other students discovered a different outlet to express their artistic abilities. Sophomore and Founder of Stuyvesant Papercrafts Gloria Lee wanted to share her love of papercrafting with her fellow students: “I find papercrafting to be extremely rewarding, and finished papercrafts always wow others as well,” Lee explained. Stuyvesant Papercrafts is a club centered around “the art of cutting paper out and strategically gluing paper pieces into 3D models,” Lee said. While this may seem like a very niche topic, this club creates beautiful models based on different topics such as avian anatomy or the Aachen Cathedral in Germany. The club often displays their finished products on their Instagram page, and Lee is also looking to display the club’s projects through more platforms and throughout the school, such as in the library.

Another example of Stuyvesant students using a specific form of art to emulate themselves is the Improv Club. This club, unlike most, came to fruition through a teacher, biology teacher Dr. Jeffrey Horenstein. Sophomore and President of the Improv Club Nora Archer explained that the club is a platform for students to both practice their performance art skills, as well as some life skills. To Archer, the club “primes us to let go of awkwardness and be expressive.”

Other students have also adopted art as a tool of expression. Juniors Emma Donnelly and Kelly Guo cofounded Project Kaleidoscope at the beginning of this school year. Project Kaleidoscope is focused around the idea of using different mediums of art as a mode of social advocacy to help spread awareness about different issues around the world. “[We found that] our love of art with our passion for activism was an area that we wanted to broaden within the Stuyvesant community,” they explained. They also hope to sell their artwork and use their earnings to support charities of their choosing.

Some students took a more unique approach to creating the charter for their clubs by including aspects of both STEM and humanities and mixing different types of clubs, such as art and community service. Juniors Emily Chen and Brian Zhang cofounded Artasia, a club whose aim is to bring awareness to environmental issues through creative mediums, such as collages and 3D installations by reusing common items and materials that could otherwise end up in a landfill. Though their group is still very new, they have almost 50 students in their Facebook group and have begun working in collaboration with the Stuyvesant Environmental Club to create an art exhibition in Stuyvesant.

This variety of humanities-oriented clubs display that though Stuyvesant is generally labeled as a STEM-oriented school, Stuyvesant students have diverse interests.