Clubs & Student Organizations
Part of what brings Westover students and faculty together as a close-knit community are our many common interests expressed through an uncommon number of fascinating clubs. All are 100 percent student run and all are advised by a faculty member. New clubs pop up all the time. As a student here, feel free to start one we don't already have!
Throughout the year, these groups sponsor special events and activities for our students' and the public's enjoyment and enlightenment.
- Amnesty International
- Community Service
- The Dorcas Society and Fund
- Environmental Action Club
- French Club
- Glee Club
- Westover Consort
- The Lantern
- Meals and Nutrition
- Peer Support
- Spanish Club (El club de español)
- Student Academic Committee
- UK Connection
Amnesty International has been a part of Westover life since the 1980s, helping to educate the school community about human rights concerns around the world. The group meets twice a week — on Wednesday evenings during dinner and Fridays during lunch — to write letters on behalf of victims of human rights abuse around the world. In the past decade, students and faculty members have written almost 10,000 letters on behalf of human rights victims.
The Community Service program provides our students with opportunities for putting their values and beliefs into action. It aims to deepen their awareness of the needs of those who live in the greater Waterbury area, as well as of national and global issues of justice and injustice, and to encourage in them the sense that they can work effectively toward positive change. Each year Westover students give several thousand hours of service, both on campus and off. Eight student community service leaders work with the community service coordinator to develop service projects and to organize special events. Community service is a requirement for graduation.
Dorcas has been a tradition at Westover School since early last century and reflects the deep commitment girls at Westover have to helping others. Each year, lead by the three elected Dorcas Heads, the junior class organizes fundraising events to benefit charities of their choice. The largest event is an exciting fair which takes place in January. The theme of the fair is a secret, but generally reflects some element in pop culture. The girls make crafts to sell, solicit food and silent auction donations, and run various carnival activities. Due to the growing success of the Dorcas Society, the Dorcas Fund was formed as a part of the Connecticut Community Foundation. The junior class continues to give away the majority of the money they earn each year, but a portion is then invested so that the Fund can grow.
Environmental Action Committee (EAC) is an active group of students working hard toward building a more sustainable environment at Westover. Our projects include expanding on campus recycling and the use of recycled goods, cutting down on food wastes and pesticide use on campus, eliminating invasive plants in our forested areas, giving to local nature centers and land trusts income generated through our redeemable bottles, and letter writing campaigns to further awareness of acute environmental issues among our congressmen and women.
Glee Club is an auditioned group of singers who present concerts at Westover several times each year in addition to other schools and area locations. Their music is varied, ranging from classical to show tunes. There is a European concert tour every three years. This March, 2017 they will sing concerts in Sorrento, the Santa Maria Maggiore Church in Rome, St. Mark's Church in Florence, and several other locations. Other highlights of the year include the Candlelight Service in December and their annual concert in February, which is often accompanied by a chamber orchestra. There are three smaller select singing groups that are drawn from the Glee Club: Chamber Choir and A Capella Group, Undertones.
The Lantern is Westover's Art and Literary magazine that is entirely student produced with the supervision of two faculty advisors. In June 2005 the Lantern was submitted to the American Scholastic Press Association's annual magazine competition for early review and it earned a FIRST PLACE award in the competition. The judges said, "this magazine shows the efforts of talented and creative editors, writers, artists, photographers, layout designers, staff members and advisers. ASPA congratulates all on your First Place award."
Westover's Food Committee, a student/faculty group with representatives from each grade, meets monthly with the director of our kitchen to discuss the dining room and snack bar. We adjust menus and arrange special meals for events like Mardi Gras and Valentine's Day. Meals for holidays such as Hanukah, Eil ul Fitr, Passover, and the Lunar New Year are planned by various student/faculty groups.
The frugal lunches organized by the Chapel Committee, which feature homemade soups, breads, and toppings provide funding for area homeless shelters. At frugal meals and all other occasions, our chefs provide vegetarian and vegan alternatives. Since we are a small community, the kitchen staff actually knows who is vegetarian, who is lactose intolerant, who cannot eat wheat, who is observing Ramadan, and they take care of all of our special needs!
The school counselor supervises the Peer Support Program and its weekly meetings. Day students and boarders are encouraged to attend these meetings which focus on all aspects of adolescent development and concerns. In the fall the meetings are often called "adjustment to boarding school" and "adjustment to boarding school for day students." The topics considered in these meetings are generally those which affect student development, effective communication, coping skills and relationships. All points of view are listened to and respected.
Once a year peer educators attend a conference for peer educators with students from many other schools within our state. The peer educators, who have received training, work with Cathie Hillian and the proctors to support and aid their fellow students.
Proctors are Junior and Senior Dormitory Positions. These elected students are liaisons between the dorm parents and the students. Proctors enforce rules, help with check-in and help say goodnights. They make themselves available to students who need someone to talk to or who need help with a problem. Proctors are trained in peer mediation.
Faculty from the Community Life Committee join the seven student Heads of School along with representatives from each class including day student representatives to form the Senate. The Senate meets to discuss student concerns and to propose changes to the student handbook or other school policies or services offered.
Westover's Spanish Club is for any student or faculty member with an appreciation of Spanish language and culture. Students with little to no prior experience with the language are as welcome to join as native speakers; no level of fluency is required. Spanish Club regularly holds Spanish Table, where members eat lunch together and converse entirely in Spanish. Several times during the school year the club also holds Spanish dinners in which members are invited to leave campus and dine at a Spanish restaurant. Non-members are gladly invited to join in on either of these occasions. Spanish Club also participates in the yearly COLORES festival held in the fall with a table selling a wide variety of Spanish foods and other treats.
WALSA is Westover's African-American and Latina Student Association. WALSA is a student-run group welcomes students of all races to participate in activities and discussions that address the interests of students of African and Spanish decent. Students use this forum to discuss opportunities for diversity education conferences that are of interest to them, their experiences within the Westover community, and broader issues like interracial dating and politics.
Examples of these activities include:
- COLORES Festival
- The Block Party
- Movie Trips Followed by Discussion
- Black History Month Activities
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Chapel