Amidst Club Fair Antics, The Near True News Remains True


As the beginning of school rolls into full swing, lonely freshmen and middle children aren’t the only ones desperate for attention. New Trier’s clubs – all six hundred and seventy nine of them – host what is widely considered to be the grandest display of extravagance in the state of Illinois: the annual Club Fair. 

At the top of the hierarchy, older clubs approach the fair with mild boredom. The stalls of New Trier fixtures – Science Olympiad, Math team, DECA – do little more than advertise a bullet-point list of accomplishments. 1st place regionally? Nationally? Invited to the White House? Cured cancer? Solved world hunger? The names practically sign themselves on the new members sheet. For these clubs, the fair is but an opportunity for their noble members to recline on their plastic folding chairs and await the masses.

But beneath them, clubs must exert greater effort to distinguish themselves from their competitors. When passing by their stalls, it is not uncommon to be assaulted by offerings of stale Dum Dums or ugly cotton T-shirts. Transparent bribery lures recruits reliably, although even this has become too conventional for some. 

“Join Bio Club!” one member cries. She presents a scalpel to our journalist. On the table is a freshly skinned cat. The Near True News politely declines. 

This marketplace also reinvigorates old feuds between clubs, as they compete for the attention of prospective members. 

In particular, the ongoing rivalry between New Trier debaters and Model UN members comes to a head. At their stall, debaters in full suit and tie polish gold trophies with pocket-hankies. A naive sophomore ambles forward, drawn like a moth to a flame by the accolades’ shimmer. From the other end of the hallway, a Model UN representative is unphased. He retrieves a leather briefcase from under the table, unlocks it, and flips it upside down. Candy spills forth. The student’s head snaps at attention, mouth agape, a string of saliva descending to the floor. Within moments, the student reverses course, leading a stampede of peers behind him. Revelry commences at the Model UN stall, shrieks of wild sugar-pleasure drowning out one debater’s distant protests about a violation of the “categorical imperative.” Candy wrappers litter the floor; students sign their names eagerly into the new members chart, swept under the influence of the most animalistic bliss. The representative smirks at our awestruck reporter. He has won. 

In the midst of artifice and pageantry, the Near True News table lies unadorned: a beacon upon a hill. No declarations of notoriety to entice hungry sycophants. No sordid snackables to lure the throbbing throng of seeking souls. Only the purity of journalistic integrity awaits those with the mettle to pursue it. We play no tacky tricks. After the cheap thrill of being desired by Student Ambassadors fades into oblivion, and the aura of DECA’s glimmering prestige dims, and the vision of hedonism that is the New Trier club fair recedes deep into the gutters of your regret, you will return to us in earnest. We will greet the most worthy Wednesday after school at 3:45 in room W331.