Popular Opinion: A Look at the Clubs and Societies at Ashoka

Edited by: Ananya Khandelwal

 

With Jashn-e-Jazbaa, the semester showcase at Ashoka, just shrinking in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look at which clubs and societies on campus have had the most impact—specifically, among the newcomers, the first-year population. I interviewed a few of the freshmen and came up with some pleasantly surprising answers. 

 

Going in, I expected the most popular clubs at Ashoka to be the biggest, most visible ones like Kirdaar (the drama society), Abhinaya (the dance society) and Vistaar (the music society). These are the ones that have a reputation for having the most people, being the most rigorous and generally having the largest performances. They also cover a variety of styles under one large umbrella.

 

What I didn’t expect to see were the more niche clubs. When asked about the first five clubs or societies that came to mind, Karthik included the Physics Society. He said, “I like the astronomy club that’s a part of the PhysSoc. They’re doing some cool stuff, including the stargazing workshop next week.” Akanksha, another first-year, talked about FarmFresh, a club that grows food organically on campus. She pointed out, “They’ve been fairly active this semester. I always see emails about events they’re holding like the Halloween pumpkin carving.” Another girl talked about Mad Batter, the baking club. She remarked, “Mad Batter has had some really interesting events and I’m looking forward to more.” Some of the others mentioned were Pawsitive (animal club), MUN club, Neev (teaches children from the nearby village) and the Rotaract club. 

 

The clubs and societies at Ashoka seem to have started making an impression on the freshmen even before the incoming batch set foot on campus. Quite a few of them made a name for themselves outside of the Sonepat bubble. Advaita told me, “I’d heard of the Feminist Collective at Ashoka before I came here and was really excited about it.” “I knew there was a cycling club here that did early morning rides,” a girl added. Another person mentioned that he’d read the Edict, an online Ashokan publication, before he’d arrived for orientation week. One girl spoke about Navrang, “The film club was something I hoped to join from before. I honestly like their unconventional screenings.” 

 

In terms of the future of clubs and societies at Ashoka, Karthik said that he would like for Comic Relief (the improv club) and Shabd, (the book club) to be more active. One girl said she would like for a more present Queer Collective to come up since Vichitra (the resident Queer Collective) hasn’t been around lately. Advaita said she could see a pottery club as a fun and new concept. Clearly, the kinds of clubs and societies in Ashoka could expand in any direction. Nonetheless, in the current moment, it’s good to see that the smaller and specific clubs are managing to hold onto their own space and even come to the forefront.