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The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

From the court to the stage

New clubs debuting this semester
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Photo by Emma Sylvester for The Lafayette
Ari Ismail ‘26 and Ariel Haber-Fawcett ‘25 created the Middle Eastern Studies Association to raise awareness of issues in the region.

On campus, there is a club for everyone. As six new clubs have been introduced to campus this semester, so have the possibilities for students to join organizations based on specialized interests, whether that includes badminton, improv or Middle Eastern studies.

Badminton Club

Badminton Club, like many others, was formed due to a want for community.

“At the time when Badminton Club did not exist, there were already people who were interested and passionate about badminton,” club president Zihao Ding ’24 said. “So [myself] and my friend [and co-founder] Prim, asked people in a group [what they thought] if we had more of an organization.”

Ding wants to make the club inclusive for everyone and made sure to highlight that in the club’s constitution. With this goal in mind, he allotted space for more seasoned players as well as beginners in his plans for tournaments later in the semester.

“The first [tournament] is going to be a tournament on campus for all of our students, whoever wants to participate,” Ding said. “For the second tournament, we’re going to contact … other universities and try to have tournaments with them.”

Middle Eastern Studies Association

Ari Ismail ‘26 and Ariel Haber-Fawcett ‘25 founded the Middle Eastern Studies Association after noticing the lack of awareness around issues related to the Southwest Asia and North Africa (SWANA) region.

“[Ismail and I] both were interested in talking about things that are happening in Palestine, as well as refugee issues in Syria, and just any different situations that happened in the Middle East that people don’t really talk about a lot on campus,” Haber-Fawcett said. 

While neither student is Middle Eastern, both came to Lafayette with an interest in topics surrounding the region, and as the club progresses, they hope to fundraise for related issues and encourage further education on campus.

“I’m not sure that this will actually be achievable, but pushing for more classes pertaining to the [Middle East/North Africa] and SWANA region, and perhaps even a Middle Eastern Studies major, that would be really spectacular, but it is an ambitious goal,” Ismail said.

Theater Underground

Theater Underground, colloquially known as Thunderground, is a restarted improv club co-run by Cormac Hurley ‘24, Ani Brutus ‘26 and Aven Lancaster ‘26. The original version of the club died out a few years ago after its members graduated. Now, the group that affectionately calls themselves the “co-resurrectors” hopes to make the club a welcoming environment for anyone interested in theater arts.

“We do have people that are interested and were a part of Thunderground last semester, but also we are welcoming new people during this new semester,” Brutus said. “When it comes to Theater Underground, something that I think is really cool is our model of it. During last semester, we would have meetings or sessions every week so it was very flexible for students to just take part in it.” 

While the group is already prepared for general body meetings each week, they are hoping to find other ways to make students aware of their presence on campus.

“Part of bringing it back or why it died out in the first place is because both of us felt like there wasn’t a presence or knowledge of improv [on campus],” Hurley said. 

Hellenic Society, Club Golf and Empowering Female Athletes were also approved as new clubs. Representatives from these three clubs did not respond to requests for comment. Additionally, Ballet Club and Women in Physics, which have been previously operating on campus, were officially recognized for funding by the Student Government this semester.

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Kendal Davis, Staff Culture Writer
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