New Year, New Clubs!

Wondering which new clubs just entered Stuyvesant? Read this article showcasing clubs at Stuyvesant if you’re looking to build community and everlasting friendships.

Reading Time: 11 minutes

After a long day of strenuous classes, Stuyvesant students find an outlet for their stress by pursuing their interests and finding a community that they truly enjoy being a part of. Stuyvesant offers a plethora of student-led clubs, ranging from those centered around arts and crafts to intensive science research. The selection is constantly expanding as students continue to come up with new ideas. Keep reading to learn about a few of the new clubs that have entered the Stuy community this year!


Stuyvesant Donated Apparel (SDA)

@Stuydonatedapparel on instagram

Aiming to combine artistic ambitions and community service, Stuyvesant Donated Apparel (SDA) is a school club and a nonprofit organization that creates clothing. The clothing is created by a group of artists and graphic designers gathered by the SDA team. Membership to the design team can be acquired simply by attending a meeting. All proceeds from sold clothing will be donated to the homeless community in New York City by giving checks to homeless centers and using their profits to organize coordinated food drives. Any unsold merchandise along with clothing donations will also be given to the homeless community. Through these donations and clothing sales, the club hopes to help alleviate the plight of the homeless. “We wanted to spread awareness of the homelessness issue in NYC,” SDA Co-President Ian Villatoro explained.

Along with assisting the homeless, the founders of the club, Daniel Yang, Ian Villatoro, and Aidan Chan, wanted to create an environment that harbors a passion for graphic design. “We were all interested in fashion and wanted to find a way to create our own clothing brand through the school,” Villatoro said. “[We wanted to] create an environment which fosters creativity in a productive and impactful way.” 

Before becoming an organization dedicated to donating apparel, SDA originally intended to be a fully recreational club. “We originally planned to just be a skate brand that also held skating sessions at local parks. We were named ‘SSD,’ which stood for ‘Stuy Skate and Design,’” Villatoro explained. However, the presidents soon realized their ability to leave an impact on a greater community: “We wanted to make a real change and spread awareness of an issue we felt strongly towards. We realized that even if we didn’t sell all our clothes, we could always donate what was left and so ‘SSD’ became ‘SDA’ now, putting an emphasis on the donation aspect of our club,” Villatoro continued. 

SDA strongly encourages anyone even remotely interested in graphic design to join the club and experiment with their passions. “It doesn’t matter if you have all the experience in the world or none at all. Anyone who’s interested in designing and/or volunteering is welcome to join […] Our target audience is anyone who wants to help,” Villatoro stated. In addition, commitment to the club is completely dependent on the member: “Commitment is based on how much a member wants to contribute.” Lastly, even if a student doesn’t have graphic design experience, physical drawings (hand-drawn illustrations) can also be incorporated into the clothing. 

In addition to community service, SDA meetings will involve teamwork. “A lot of tasks will be done in groups to ensure efficiency and teamwork. This means it’s really dependent on how much someone wants to chip in for their group and what needs to be done,” Villatoro continued.

SDA’s leadership positions include the presidents, a social media manager, and a treasurer/materials manager. Once new positions open, members can fill out an application through Google Forms and undergo an interview. 

In-person meetings will be held once a month on Thursdays, where club members will propose ideas, share their progress, and exchange feedback on each other’s work. Group leaders will be assigned to smaller groups to work with and meet virtually on their own time. Potential events such as food and toy drives will also be announced and planned at the meetings. 

The Biology Society (TBS)

One of the newest science clubs at Stuyvesant is The Biology Society (TBS), which gives students the opportunity to learn more about biology and teach others. At the beginning of each meeting, TBS offers tutoring for members currently taking a biology class. Afterwards, members play biology-related games, such as Blookets, Kahoots, and trivia, and listen to presentations given by the club’s leaders. “We tailor them to members’ interests and our interests,” said TBS president Aruna Vaithilingam regarding the club’s presentations. “We’re thinking of doing more specialized, interesting topics in the future. For example, we had a meeting on evolution, and we covered the basics to help people study for tests, but also went into more niche topics like how Darwinian medicine works or how evolution affects the immune system.”

Additionally, TBS is working on building a biology website for younger kids. “There were not a lot of websites tailored for biology for young kids [such as]  middle schoolers and preschoolers,” Vaithilingam said. “So we wanted to create a fun way for kids to get interested in science, almost like youth outreach. That's [..] our mission, and we also want a way for students to simultaneously learn.”

TBS hopes that this website will eventually present a variety of multimedia to help kids learn biology, including articles, puzzles, games, and videos. In order to achieve this, they hope to attract members with a diverse skillset. “Let’s say you’re really good at video editing, or you’re a coder, or a writer, all your projects can be tailored based on your skills, your interests, and applying that to our club and to our project,” Vaithilingam expressed. “So, if you like coding, you can help code our website. If you like making videos or animations, you can do a project based on an animation.”

As TBS makes more progress on their website, they’re also looking into collaborating with organizations and elementary schools to spread their resources. “We’re thinking that once we get all the resources out there, we’ll start doing outreach to elementary schools too,” Vaithilingam stated. “We already have our web development head looking forward to a partnership with another organization.”

Community service is at the heart of TBS just as much as biology is. “[I would say one word that would describe our club is] community, because a big part of our club is establishing this community within our members and also expanding that community beyond. I think something that makes our club unique from other clubs at Stuy is that we have [an] initiative that reaches beyond Stuy,” Vaithilingam added. “And I think that's something that’s pretty unique because other clubs don't really offer that opportunity in a more large-scale way.”

Stuyvesant Social Lens (SSL)

Stuy Social Lens (SSL) is the first publication dedicated to social studies at Stuyvesant. SSL founder Esshal Ubaid created SSL after noticing that the majority of research published by Stuyvesant students was STEM-based. “There weren’t many options for those [to publish their] written academic work from their history classes, something that many of our current editors noticed after writing research papers as part of classes,” Ubaid stated in an e-mail interview.

Ubaid emphasized that the papers submitted don’t have to be historically based, and can be recycled work from a class. “The social studies department and editorial board are trying to expand across current events as well, encouraging any interested student to submit work they’re proud of (even if it’s that one essay you got a 97 on in global).”

The process to submit a piece is extremely accessible and non-competitive because SSL’s goal is to create a welcoming academic environment for students interested in history and social studies. “If a student is proud of their written work, then they should be able to get it out there in a non-competitive format, the same way there are magazines and publications for math and science, formal and informal alike. Before, the only options were to submit to a contest or try to get into a large academic journal, most of which are not high school friendly. Through [SSL] we hope that students, especially juniors who write research papers for class, can share their work in social studies out of passion and enthusiasm.” Ubaid personally loves conducting research in the social studies department and particularly enjoyed it in Dr. Lisa Greenwald’s AP United States History class. However, she had one problem: there was no outlet to show her work to the world. “After spending weeks writing, organizing, editing, and peer reviewing, I really wanted to publish it somewhere, but the only option I was really offered was the Gilder Lehrman essay contest,” she explained. “Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to submit to GL, but I was hoping for a less competitive way of sharing this academic baby of mine with the world, especially since there was no guarantee I would get to finals.”
The collaborative efforts of the board made SSL a reality. “I’d like to shout out [editor] Hui Wen [Weng] in particular, who’s taken on a huge role in helping plan/charter everything, and helping us get a website up. Also, a shoutout to [editor] Medha [Prasad] for stepping up on all things advertisement-related. And thanks, of course, to Dr. Greenwald, who checks in, advises based on what real academic journals do, and gave me the idea in the first place.”

Aspiring members of SSL can expect to send in their papers through a Google Form, and join the StuyActivities for communication purposes. From that point forward, everything else is asynchronous, meaning that even non-members of the club can publish papers as long as they submit through the Google Form (though they are highly encouraged to join the StuyActivities charter). The editors will then provide feedback, edit, and structure every paper cohesively to fit one issue. 

Ultimately, Stuy Social Lens aims to support Stuyvesant’s social studies community. “Science research is kind of the pride of the school. Where do the social studies nerds go? I thought it was very important to allow these students to just explore the world of written work in history/current events,” Ubaid stated.

Through the publication, the club hopes that social studies enthusiasts will find pride in their hard work. “Social studies is an important subject and I want this publication to lift written work up in a way that reflects that importance,” Ubaid said.

Stuyvesant (FC)² FuZhou Culture and Food Club

Stuyvesant has a large population of students whose families are from Fujian, a southeastern Chinese province. Stuyvesant FuZhou Culture and Food Club (FC)² aims to connect Fujianese students with their culture. To accomplish this, they hope to highlight how rich and multifaceted Fujianese culture is through engaging with its food, theater, and language. 

(FC)² began with the co-presidents’ own desires to learn more about their culture. Since then, they have learned a lot from their parents, relatives, and online resources, and now hope to share that knowledge with their members. “This club provides interesting resources such as Fuzhounese culture-related websites, Fuzhounese speaking exercises, and Fuzhounese activities you can do at school or at home. [Members also watch] plays set in the background of Fuzhou. These plays can be Fuzhonese fables or historical events,” Lin said. “Our goal is to meet the demands of all students who wish to learn about this beautiful culture, whether in the form of dramas, music, activities, food, lessons, or others.”

Ultimately, (FC)² hopes to provide activities that are both meaningful and invigorating for its members. “E=MC^2. We are FC^2 and we hope to bring energy to survive daily school life. Fuzhou represents the City of Luck; we hope to spread luck to our members and Stuyvesant in general with our dedication and positive energy,” Lin added.

Indian Culture Club

The latest edition to Stuyvesant’s large selection of culturally themed clubs is the Indian Culture Club. As its name suggests, it focuses on developing a space for students to have fun and learn about Indian culture, emphasizing how it varies from region to region, and from past to present. 

Co-presidents Trisha Kumar and Aruna Vaithilingham founded the club after realizing that it was difficult to learn about Indian culture by relying on traditional history courses alone. Furthermore, they noticed that there wasn’t a club at Stuyvesant to educate people about Indian culture. “Sometimes even the best class won't cover a country’s culture to that extent, so our intention was to learn about Indian culture. [...] There are so many languages, many places that people don’t usually know of,” Kumar expressed. 

To educate fellow passionate peers, the club leads its members through weekly meetings and organizes cultural events, such as the Diwali celebration, which occurred a few months ago. “Every week we cover a different state in India and our goal is to get through all the states so that we can really show members [the] diversity of Indian culture. We [talk] about music, dance, architecture, and [watch] videos [to] make it enjoyable and fun,” Vaithilingham mentioned. 

All students are encouraged to attend these meetings, no matter how much knowledge of Indian culture they have. “If you’re Indian, obviously it’s great to know about your country but we've had lots of members who are not,” Kumar said. In fact, ethnic diversity could stimulate a more nuanced Indian Culture Club discussion. “It’s interesting because [other cultures] share a lot of similarities [with] Indian backgrounds, and [sharing those aspects] brings that to life,” Kumar continued. 

Diorama Club

@stuy.diorama on Instagram

One of the latest and most unique clubs at Stuyvesant is the Diorama Club, which aims to teach aspiring architects both digital and physical modeling using SketchUp (a free 3D modeling platform) and physical supplies such as cardboard and wood. However, the club does not only cater to budding designers—in fact, the founder, sophomore Ella Jiang, welcomes anyone who enjoys working with architectural models. “Anyone who loves to create [is encouraged to join our club]! [...] We cater towards aspiring architects and other jobs involving design and modeling,” Jiang stated in an e-mail interview.

The Diorama Club is meant to provide a welcoming space for students to work on projects, gain new friendships, and experience a sense of achievement in their progress. “I wanted to create a community to introduce digital modeling and other new skills while creating detailed projects that people can look back on and be proud of,” Jiang announced. To generate a sense of community, members are encouraged to suggest specific areas to base their dioramas after. After voting for a specific location, all of the students will collaborate to create a physical model of the expanse of land, which will be put together at the end of each major project.

Participation in Stuy Diorama involves medium commitment. Thirty-minute meetings will be held in person to brainstorm ideas on what to build at the beginning of each project. After the initial meeting, members will meet on Zoom four times a month from 30 minutes to an hour. That way, students have sufficient time to learn how to use SketchUp and perfect their digital models. These preliminary designs act as a guide when working on physical projects during in-person weekly meetings, which can last up to two hours. The club holds roughly four meetings per month, all of which range from half an hour to two hours, but members of the club who are behind are able to attend private lessons offered to students who need a little extra help.    

Jiang remarked that her old projects in freshman year played a big part in inspiring her to create this club. “It was a grueling process, but I always get that same feeling when I’m done. It’s a sense of accomplishment, pride, and a little bit of relief, which [makes] the process worth all the effort. Those pieces helped me realize my passion for creating,” Jiang said. To recreate the delight she experienced after finishing her projects, Jiang hopes to display the club’s best creations next to the escalators, alongside many of the school’s acclaimed trophies and inventions. 

Club members who are interested in applying for positions on Diorama Club’s board will be given the opportunity at the end of each year. “The current club leaders will [...] decide potential leaders based on their commitment to the club and their modeling skills,” Jiang revealed. The leaders of the club hope to inspire young adults to pursue architecture in a way that offers them pride and satisfaction. “The Diorama Club is all about creating something someone never thought they could have before,” Jiang professed.