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Affinity group celebrations

EAST leaders and club advisors host their first-ever in-person family potluck event.

As the school year enters full swing back in person, many of Marlborough’s affinity groups welcome students back to school with a series of family events. 

Marlborough’s Latinx affinity group, Organized Latinx Exchange, held a family barbecue event on Saturday, Sept. 11 to welcome new students and their families. 

“The goal of the event is to create a welcoming environment for the families to feel comfortable, and to let them know there is a support system so that families feel comfortable sending their children to school,” OLÉ co-leader Dana ‘22 said. 

While previous OLÉ barbecues typically had fewer than 30 participants, this year the event brought in a record number of students and family members, with almost 100 attendees. 

“There were people who couldn’t sit in the chairs,” Dana said. “Teachers and students all brought their families.” 

For lunch, OLÉ brought pupusas and had a large candy table. Additionally, for the first time ever, OLÉ had a piñata to close out the event. 

“It was like the cherry on top,” Dana said. “Everything went beautifully, and it was the first year it felt like a party. Everyone wanted to be there, and everyone felt welcomed. It was really nice.” 

Marlborough’s East Asian affinity group, Exploring Asian Societies Together, held their first-ever in-person family potluck event on Friday, Sept. 17. 

“The event last year was over zoom, so this was our first year planning the potluck in person,” EAST leader Kiera ‘23 said. “We had to take creative liberty and we started planning back in June.” 

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, families were not asked to bring food for the potluck. Instead, the EAST leaders brought some dishes based on a survey asking members to list their favorite Asian dish that represents their family heritage. 

“The EAST leaders brought nostalgic childhood drinks like chrysanthemum tea and lemon tea, so it was really nice because I haven’t had them in such a long time,” EAST member Ashley ‘22 said. “The fried rice was also really good.” 

Similar to OLÉ, turnout was high with over 100 students and family members. In both events, students and their families were able to connect with each other and their culture. 

“Hearing everyone speak their native language was really heartwarming,” Ashley said. “It was great to see everyone come together.” 

Lastly, the African American Cultural Exchange held a social on Saturday, Oct. 16 for all new and returning Black and African American students. 

According to AACE co-president Spencer ‘23, the parents took part in activities such as writing letters to their children, while the students played games like Black Card Revoked. 

“For the students, we wanted to give them their own space dedicated to valuing their blackness, so we will be playing music, telling stories as always, and playing cards games,” Spencer said. 

Spencer also added that the event had around 75 participants, making it one of the most well-attended functions for Black students throughout her entire time at Marlborough. 

“I’m really looking forward to building a black community at the school that can rely on each other and look out for each other,” Spencer said. “I simply want everyone to get to know one another and see that we are a group dedicated to fostering an inclusive environment.” 

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