Clubs & Activities

 

There are more than 65 clubs, student publications, community service organizations, and music and performance ensembles at Hotchkiss. If we don’t have the club you’re looking for, start a new one!

Run by students of all class years, a sample of clubs and organizations include:

Clubs

Africa Club
The mission of the Africa Club is to raise awareness about current African issues; to educate and share with the Hotchkiss community the many cultures of Africa; and to serve as a link between Hotchkiss and Africa. The group sponsors student presentations and movies about Africa as well as guest speakers, performers and workshops.

Asian Society 
Membership to the club is open to the entire student body. In addition to raising awareness of Asian cultures and celebrating and recognizing important festivities from Asian countries represented by the student body, the club keeps alive conversations about contemporary issues pertaining to Asia.  

Black and Hispanic Student Alliance (BaHSA)
BaHSA began as a multicultural support group that welcomed, and continues to welcome, all students, not only those who are African American and Hispanic. Since its inception, the club has evolved into one that strives to maintain and express its inclusiveness within the community. Among other things, BaHSA considers it its mission to educate our community on topics of diversity by sponsoring speakers, workshops, social events, leadership forums and regular group meetings involving other groups at Hotchkiss and neighboring schools. Participation in BaHSA-sponsored events is open to all.

Blue and White Society
One of the oldest campus organizations, the Blue and White Society is dedicated to promoting school spirit. Group members assist with orientation, sponsor seasonal pep rallies, and run Spirit Week.

Blue Notes
This group of eight to ten male a cappella voices dates back to the 1940s. The group usually meets once a week and performs informal programs at school and off-campus several times during the school year. Students must audition for the ensemble.

Bluestockings
Bluestockings urges awareness of gender issues and encourages women to be involved in philanthropic activities benefitting other women. Started in 2001 to raise awareness of gender issues on campus, Bluestockings has raised money for women’s health issues, organized gatherings of girls of mixed age groups, and helped to collect and work with data of the Independent School Gender Project. We target possible solutions to bridge gender imbalances and work to create strong bond between girls of all ages.  We aim to foster support between girls, promote understanding between genders, and promote interaction between gender, age, and interests.

Book Club
Each year, members of the club select a list of books to read and discuss. The club meets on average once a month, and all are welcome.

Calliope
Calliope is an all-girls a cappella singing group of about 16.  We perform often in the School and the community, and we sing all different genres.  We all work with the arrangements as a team to bring the most we can out of each song, and our mission is to create, foster, and radiate joy!

Chess Club
We're a group chess enthusiasts learning, playing, and strategizing. We work to improve our tactics. Games and tournaments happen throughout the year. Join us.

China Care
The China Care Foundation is dedicated to saving the lives of medically fragile orphaned children in China. Founded in 2000 by a determined teenager, China Care is also committed to empowering young people to use their abilities and creativity to help improve the lives of children in need. We raise funds to support the work of China Care, which operates orphanages in China and provides surgery and medical care for abandoned children who would not be treated without this sponsorship.  

Chinese Club
Chinese Club is about Chinese language, culture and people. It not only aims to improve the language skills of students who take Chinese, but also encourages people from all backgrounds to understand the spirit of Chinese culture through all kinds of activities. Although Chinese Club is the gathering of Chinese fellows, other Asians and Chinese students, it is also a place where people who are not related to Chinese on any level can have fun while learning about Chinese culture.

Christian Fellowship
This club is dedicated to nurturing the faith of Christian believers on campus as well as teaching other students who want to learn more about the Christian faith. The club ’s meetings are open to everyone.

Classics Club
A club for lovers of Latin and Greek that promotes Classics at Hotchkiss. 

Club Med
Meditation club that gives students and faculty a 30-minute-long relaxation period once a week... a time to reflect, breathe, or nap. 

Computer Club
A club for students who have an affinity for computers and want to do something fun related to technology. 

Dinner Club
The purpose of the Dinner Club is to gather in the spirit of good cooking, share recipes, and learn about meals. The club eats well, too!

Drill Team
This coed group revs up the crowds at athletic games, pep rallies, and even morning assemblies with its synchronized stomping, clapping, snapping, and dancing, rhythmic moves and music created solely by the human body. Students in the group choreograph their own routines.

French Club
The French Club involves students in casual French conversation through French tables in the dining hall and screenings of French films. The club also occasionally sponsors trips and special events that celebrate the French culture.

Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA)
The GSA's main purpose is to create understanding between gay, straight, bisexual and questioning students.  We seek to educate as well as support all students. GSA meetings are open to all, and are a safe environment for people of all genders and sexual orientations.

German Club
The German Club provides students with an opportunity to speak German and learn about German culture. Events include German films, a school-wide celebration of a German winter holiday, and German dinners.

Gospel Choir
Founded in September 2001, the gospel choir consists of students, faculty, staff, and friends of the community. Under the musical direction of Michael Whitney Brown, the group practices once a week and performs at Hotchkiss and in the greater community. Auditions are held throughout the year.

H2H
The goal of H2H is to establish and foster links with our peers at the local high school, Housatonic Valley Regional High School. 

Habitat for Humanity
Working with the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate, students volunteer on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons to help build and paint shelters for local constituents. For the past six years, the group has also fundraised and organized a trip to a Habitat for Humanity National Collegiate Challenge site during spring break.

Hillel
Hillel is the Jewish student organization that sponsors religious, educational, social, and cultural events in celebration of Jewish holidays, culture, and history. The organization has also sponsored field trips and speakers. Hillel arranges for students to attend synagogue services on the High Holy Days and on other holidays or Shabbat when there is sufficient interest. Hillel works closely with the food service to offer appropriate foods during holidays, especially Passover. All Hillel events are open to the entire Hotchkiss community.

The Hotchkiss Art Society
This club supports the visual arts at Hotchkiss. 

Hotchkiss Dramatic Association (HDA)
The HDA sponsors three major main stage productions each year, including a musical and occasionally a festival of Broadway hit songs. In the smaller Black Box Theater the HDA also produces more intimate plays for smaller casts, student-directed one-act plays, and acting workshops. The group provides many opportunities for students to try their hand at acting or learn the technical aspects of play production.

The Hotchkiss Flex
This club organizes outings to local bowling alleys to bowl. Our objectives are to have a regular group that comes often, as well as occasional bowlers. 

Hotchkiss Outdoor Grilling Society (H.O.G.S.)
First and foremost the Hotchkiss Outdoor Grilling Society is about grilling. Members want to make the grilling experience something memorable for every Hotchkiss student, "like a cookout from our youth on a beautiful summer day." H.O.G.S is about cooking great food and having a great time in the company of great people. H.O.G.S. gives students the chance to step away from their everyday lives and enjoy the taste of a perfectly charred steak cooked over the hot sizzle of good, old-fashioned charcoal. Celebrity chef Bobby Flay put it best when he said, "I love the culture of grilling. It creates an atmosphere that is festive but casual."  

Hotchkiss Political Union
This club is dedicated to bringing issues of national and political importance to Hotchkiss. Debates, talks, and information about elections are all sponsored by the Political Union, an intentionally bipartisan organization.

Hotchkiss Television (HTV)
Members of HTV videotape campus events of widespread interest and edit them into news shows about the campus for the School. Students also serve as announcers and commentators in the film clips.

Investment Club
The Investment Club aims to introduce young investors to the beginning principles of watching the stock market and maintaining online accounts. Each member of the group is responsible for research of particular companies and funds. The group also sponsors a field trip to the New York Stock Exchange.

Isaak Walton Club
The objective of the club is to teach students as much about fishing as possible. The club is open to any level of fisherman, from the novice to the expert angler.

Junior Bearcats
Junior Bearcats is a student-run, non-profit charity organization.  Their motto is "Kids for Kids", with the mission of helping children worldwide by holding interschool fundraising events and on-campus activities for children from the local community.  To date, funds raised in this manner have been donated to Tsunami relief victims, scholarships for girls in Vietnam, and "Room to Read" programs in Asia, among others.                

Knitting Club
The Knitting Club is open to knitters of all levels of ability. The group works on a variety of projects, aiming to improve skills and design techniques.

Math Club
The Hotchkiss Math Club promotes math awareness and appreciation within the School and in the local community. The Math Club welcomes everyone of any level of mathematical ability who is interested in problem solving, puzzles, and games. The Math Club organizes the Puzzle of the Week, T-shirt sales, peer-to-peer mentoring, SAT tutoring sessions, and middle school enrichment.

Math Team
 The Hotchkiss Math Team competes in various regional and national competitions year-round. The Math Team has weekly training sessions throughout the school year, and students may also elect to participate in a co-curricular in lieu of athletics during the fall or winter seasons. Recent competition experience includes NEML, Mandelbrot, AMC/AIME/USA(j)MO, WPI Invitational, HMMT, WCML/CSAML/NEAML, ARML. For more information please visit our webpage.

Outing Club
The Outing Club sponsors a variety of outdoor adventure day trips each year, including rock climbing, high ropes course, skiing, hiking, camping, canoeing, rafting, and caving. Moonlight (night) hikes and overnight trips are also planned when conditions are favorable.

Polar Bear Club
Although everyone is welcome to join the Polar Bear Club on one or many excursions, only the very bravest and boldest actually take the plunge! That would be the plunge into our Lake Wononscopomuc during the chilly winter months. All excursions are lifeguard- supervised and are followed by hot chocolate and ice cream at our boathouse or at the nearby home of the head of school.

Science Club
This is a group of students who love to play with science. Members typically take on a major project and work on it once a week. Previous projects have included building an electric car, a hovercraft, and an underwater remotely operated vehicle. All are welcome and there is no mandatory time commitment.

Science Olympiad
Members of this team compete in the statewide Science Olympiad in March, which encompasses various branches of science such as biology, chemistry, physics, and engineering.

Scuba Club
A course is offered each season in PADI certification. Lessons begin in the pool and, after class members gain experience, move to open water. The certification course in scuba diving also meets a term athletic requirement.

Songs for Smiles
The mission of this club is to bring music to a variety of local audiences and to earn money, through donations, for an organization that provides free musical instruments to children who can't afford to buy them. The concerts occur once a month, usually on Sunday afternoons. 

Spanish Club
The Spanish Club gives students the opportunity to practice their Spanish and learn more about Hispanic culture. It also serves to help inform the School community about the Spanish-speaking world. The Spanish Club sponsors Spanish language tables at dinner and promotes Hispanic culture and the celebration of important Hispanic holidays.

Speech and Debate Team
The Speech and Debate Team competes in interscholastic tournaments throughout New England, Canada, and overseas. Debate styles include parliamentary and cross-examination. Public speaking styles include after-dinner, persuasive, impromptu, and interpretive reading. The Team competes one Sunday per month on average, and meets every Tuesday and Thursday evening. Committed, consistently involved debaters are eligible for invitations to attend Model United Nations, Model Congress, and/or international public speaking tournaments. Website

St. Luke’s Society
The oldest club at Hotchkiss, St. Luke's was founded in 1892 to promote Christian fellowship, work, and service. Its members provide volunteer service in support of various charitable organizations and groups in need. Hotchkiss students give their time to the local soup kitchen, a school for learning disabled children, a home for the elderly, a Big Brother/Big Sister program, and other community outreach efforts. Approximately three-quarters of the student body participate in these activities each year. The St. Luke’s Society also encourages students to participate in the local Crop Walk each year.

Students for Environmental Awareness (SEA)
The SEA is responsible for increasing the School’s awareness of issues relating to the environment. Toward this end, the group invites speakers to campus, sponsors an "Eco-Day" during which the community participates in a campus and community clean-up, runs the campus recycling program, and involves interested students in education programs at the various local elementary schools. In addition, members of the SEA help maintain nature trails in Beeslick Brook Woods and lead nature walks.

Unity Through Rhythm (UTR)
UTR is a student-organized club dedicated to contemporary forms of expression and poetry. The club meets to discuss writing and performing and sponsors slam poetry events during the year.

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Wahed's goal is to raise awareness and help bring aid to Afghan children. It highlights the need to build friendly relations between U.S Troops and local communities. 

WKIS
The Hotchkiss radio station broadcasts six nights a week. All disc jockeys are students and faculty members, and programs range from classic rock to hip hop to country to world music.

WKIS
Student Publications

No Limits (Journal of Science)
This journal of science includes articles on various scientific issues and on research being done by Hotchkiss students.

The Extra Point (sports) 
This seasonal student-run sports publication aims to provide an extra level of depth to Hotchkiss sports reporting. We focus on interest pieces pertaining to Hotchkiss athletes and alumni, including members of the Hotchkiss community who have gone on to higher levels of athletics.

The Mischianza (Yearbook)
The prize-winning school yearbook has a large staff. Students may choose from a variety of responsibilities including writing, photography, editing, layout, and advertising.

The Paper (Sports Magazine)
Published twice a year, this color award-winning magazine has sports and school spirit as its primary focus.

The Record (Student Newspaper)
The eight-page student newspaper is produced every two weeks, covering Hotchkiss news, arts, sports, opinions, and environmental and international initiatives through writing and photography. The Record circulates on campus and is sent to Hotchkiss alumni, parents, and grandparents who subscribe. Reporting opportunities include features, campus news, sports, editorials, and the arts.

The Review (Arts Magazine)
The arts magazine of The Hotchkiss School is published once or twice a year and includes written work, artwork, and photographs by Hotchkiss students. A student board manages editorial and production responsibilities.

The Whipping Post (Alternative Student Newspaper)
This alternative student newspaper is published approximately twice each year. The publication that includes satire as well as serious essays about life at Hotchkiss and current events.

The Writing Block (Creative Writing Journal)
This literary journal is published several times a year and features creative writing by members of the Hotchkiss community. A joint student-faculty board manages editorial and production responsibilities.

Musical Ensembles

The Hotchkiss Chorus
Comprised of approximately 45 singers (including a small number of faculty members and faculty spouses most years), the Chorus rehearses twice a week, just before Study Hall. The Chorus typically presents a Festival of Lessons & Carols in early December and a spring concert in May, usually featuring a choral work. Past performances include Mozart’s Requiem and Mendelssohn’s oratorio Elijah. The Chorus is open to any interested student; it is possible to obtain one-half credit for the year’s work.

The Chamber Choir
The Choir is a smaller, select ensemble, although all members must participate in the Chorus. Numbering from 15 to 20 voices, the Choir performs a wide range of repertoire both on and off campus. Students receive one course credit for the year’s work. New students are welcome to sign up for the course, but must audition for the Choir in September.

Music Lessons as an Extracurricular Activity
In addition to music instruction for which students may receive academic credit, students may also sign up for private lessons as an extracurricular activity. This usually involves one lesson per week and involves a fee beyond regular tuition. A music contract is mailed to parents before each semester begins and must be returned to the School before the lessons begin. Once a student has begun his or her lessons, there is no rebate should the student decide to discontinue the lessons. Music lesson fees are posted on the student’s term bill. If students elect to receive credit for lessons, the tuition charge for the lessons is waived.

Community Service Programs

Hotchkiss students, staff, and faculty members are heavily involved in community service for charities and organizations that are both local and global. Some examples of community service:

BaHSA and Bluestockings
BaHSA and Bluestockings co-sponsor a relationship between Hotchkiss and Touchstone, a residential treatment facility for female juvenile offenders. The program provides the residents with an opportunity to tell their stories and use writing as a means of healing. Bluestockings is also involved in educating and fundraising for breast cancer research.

The Fund for Global Understanding
The Fund for Global Understanding provides up to $70,000 a year in grants to support students with summer community service travel.

The Gay-Straight Alliance
The Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) sends interested students and faculty members to the annual New York City AIDS walk.

Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity is involved with the local Salisbury chapter of the organization and helps to build and repair houses locally. For the past six years, the group has also participated in the Habitat for Humanity National Collegiate Challenge during spring break.

Hotchkiss Dramatic Association
Hotchkiss Dramatic Association (HDA) supports local charities—including the Salisbury Visiting Nurses Association, Northwest Coalition Against AIDS, and Women’s Support Services—with proceeds from ticket sales from its major productions.

The Hotchkiss Blood Drive
The Hotchkiss Blood Drive is an annual effort to help the American Red Cross with its blood supply. Faculty, staff, and students may contribute blood and/or time to help run the blood drive each spring.

The Hotchkiss Swimathon
The Hotchkiss Swimathon is an annual event that raises money for the Northwest Connecticut Special Olympics swimming team.

Junior Bearcats
Junior Bearcats is a student-run, non-profit charity organization.  Their motto is "Kids for Kids", with the mission of helping children worldwide by holding interschool fundraising events and on-campus activities for children from the local community.  To date, funds raised in this manner have been donated to Tsunami relief victims, scholarships for girls in Vietnam, and "Room to Read" programs in Asia, among others.                

Kiva Microfinancing
Through an organization called Kiva (www.kiva.org), this club makes no-interest loans to poor people around the world who need money to start their own businesses. Once their businesses become a sustainable source of income, loan recipients pay the money back over a set period of time. The club raises awareness of microfinance, and has monthly meetings to select loan recipients.

Kucetekela
The Kucetekela Foundation is a nonprofit organization that gives scholarships to Zambian high school students who are academically promising but financially disadvantaged. The club is committed to sponsoring one student for their five years at high school, and holds events such as faculty dinners and dress-down days to raise funds for the scholarship.

Math Club
Math Club works with local elementary school children on math puzzles and games.

The Prep Class
The Prep Class sponsors an annual skating party for local elementary school children.

St. Luke’s Society
The oldest club at Hotchkiss, St. Luke's was founded in 1892 to promote Christian fellowship, work, and service. Its members provide volunteer service in support of various charitable organizations and groups in need. Hotchkiss students give their time to the local soup kitchen, a school for learning disabled children, a home for the elderly, a Big Brother/Big Sister program, and other community outreach efforts. Approximately three-quarters of the student body participate in these activities each year. The St. Luke’s Society also encourages students to participate in the local Crop Walk each year.

Students Supporting Survivorship
Students Supporting Survivorship joins with other local organizations to plan and promote an annual Bike-a-Thon for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, devoted to supporting cancer survivors and their families.

WISER
WISER is an all-girls boarding school located in Muhuru Bay, Kenya, where only five percent of the girls in that village make it to high school due to forced early marriages, family gender roles, early pregnancies and other issues. WISER at Hotchkiss is dedicated to raising awareness about the issues that Muhuru Bay girls face, and committed to raising a minimum of $1,000 a year to support a girl's scholarship to the school. 

Round Square

Round Square (www.roundsquare.org) is an association of 50 schools around the world that support each other, both individually and collectively, to promote the principles of internationalism, democracy, environmental awareness, adventure, leadership, and service. Faculty and student representatives participate in an annual conference to share lessons learned and methods used, and to develop joint projects and future plans. Hotchkiss has sent delegations to international conferences in German, South Africa, Massachusetts, Peru, India, Thailand, and Australia.
For more information, see International Programs.

Student Government

Student-Faculty Council (Stu-Fac)
The Student-Faculty Council is composed of the presidents of the School, the presidents of the senior, upper mid, lower mid, and prep classes (there are two presidents for each class, and they serve one-year terms), one elected representative from each dorm, and five faculty members (at least three of whom are dormitory faculty) elected by the faculty for two-year terms. In addition, the Head of School, Assistant Head of School, and the deans of the classes all serve ex officio. Chaired by the School presidents and the director of student activities, the council was established in recognition of the fact that in a boarding school community there are many important issues of concern to both students and faculty. The council is responsible for making recommendations to the full faculty not only on questions which relate specifically to the quality of student life, but also on those related to the general welfare of the School community. In addition, the council has direct responsibility for granting or denying charters to student organizations that represent the School.