Clubs, Activities, and Student Leadership

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Tafties are more than just students, they are activists, athletes, actors, and authors. They celebrate culture, catch fish, and create art. They are leaders, readers, and eaters. Whatever your passion, there is a way to indulge it at Taft, through our wide range of clubs, networks, publications, and organizations.

Taft hosts an activities fair near the start of each academic year, where students can learn about the roster of clubs and organizations currently active on campus. Tafties are always encouraged to bring new ideas to the community, or to bring back clubs that were once part of Taft’s history. With a solid game plan and a commitment from an advisor, the sky is the limit.

Clubs and Activities

Our broad and ever-changing list of clubs and programs includes, naming only a few:

Arts

  • Hydrox and Oriocos a capella groups
  • Masque and Dagger
  • Filmmakers Club
  • Dance Club
  • Gospel Choir
  • Latin Dance Club
  • Photography Club

STEM

  • Girls Who Code
  • Robotics
  • Science Journal
  • Physics Club
  • Pre-Med Club
  • Astronomy Club

Publications & Media

  • The Annual
  • Taft Papyrus
  • Red Inc.
  • Global Journal
  • W(i)RED Radio

Service and Philanthropy

  • Volunteer Council
  • Red Rhino Fund
  • Wounded Warriors Foundation
  • Random Acts of Kindness Club
  • Key Club
  • Outreach360 Club

Spiritual Life

  • FOCUS, Christian Fellowship
  • United Cultures of Taft
  • Jewish Student Organization
  • The Unitarian Club

Health, Wellness, Sports, Recreation

  • Running Club
  • Meditation Club
  • Zumba
  • Fishing Club
  • Lifting Club
  • Pond Hockey Club

Politics & Current Events

  • Model Congress
  • Taft Republicans
  • Taft Democrats
  • Taft International Relations
  • and Public Policy Chamber
  • Debate Club

Social Consciousness

  • Amnesty International
  • Taft Environmental Awareness Movement (TEAM)
  • Gun Violence Prevention Club
  • Advocating for Gender Equality
  • Women Speak Out Loud

Special Interests

  • Taft Entrepreneurial Club
  • Taft Investments and Economics Club
  • Game of Thrones Club
  • Global Awareness Club
  • Taft Baking Club
  • SHOUT (Students Homosexual and Otherwise United at Taft)

Student Leadership

Leadership opportunities abound at Taft. From positions in student government to team captainships, editorial posts, club and organization officers, or dorm monitors, there are many ways, both formal and informal, for students to build and share leadership skills while effecting positive change in our school community. Opportunities include, but are not limited to:

Monitors

In his earliest writings, Horace Dutton Taft talks about the “monitorial system,” noting that only three years into the school’s founding, the system “took shape and acquired strength.” Now, more than 125 years later, monitors, or “mons” still lead the student body.

Two “head mons”—one boy and one girl— and 10 school mons lead Taft’s student government; all are elected by school wide vote, and all are members of the senior class. Mons have demonstrated exceptional leadership ability and impeccable character throughout their Taft careers. The head mons work closely with the headmaster and the school mons to implement the Honor System, assist with supervision in the dormitories, and share in the responsibility of day-to-day events on campus.

Twice each year, students in the lower three classes elect members to their own Class Committees, which also assist with school governance; class committee chairs—one boy and one girl—are elected from within each committee. Dormitory monitors are upper mids and seniors selected by the faculty to live among younger students in the dorm in order to help the dorms run smoothly. Day students elect peers to represent them on the Day Student Council.

Community Service Council

Service to the community is a fundamental part of a Taft education. Our motto, not to be served but to serve, is woven into the fabric of everyday life at Taft. All Taft students are considered part of the student-run Community Service Council, whose 12-member board is charged with developing meaningful service opportunities and advocacy projects for the school. Board members are selected through a competitive application process. Everyone is encouraged to bring their service ideas to the Board for guidance and assistance in implementing their plans.

Global Leadership Institute

The Global Leadership Institute (GLI) is a competitive and rigorous co-curricular program that brings students from Taft and Waterbury public schools together both in and out of the classroom for shared learning and leadership experiences. The program’s mission is to develop a generation of global leaders with a genuine concern for world problems, multiple perspectives on global issues, and the knowledge and skills needed to contribute to worldwide change.

The two-year GLI program accepts 20 new students each academic year—10 students from Taft, 10 students from public schools in the city of Waterbury.“GLI Scholars” apply for the program in October of their sophomore year, begin orientation in January, and complete the course of study at the end of their junior year. Learn more.

Admissions Council

Students work with the admissions office in these high-visibility, leadership positions. Council members do a variety of jobs, including the full administration of the tour guide program.

Taft on Leadership

Leadership is choosing to act with empathy, integrity and courage to help one’s group achieve its goals.

Expectations for Taft’s Student Leaders:
  • I will be principled in my actions, ambitious in my goals, energetic in my duties, open-minded in my interactions with others and respectful in my communications with everyone.
  • I understand that the role of class committee member/school monitor/dormitory monitor is constantly changing and that circumstances may require difficult decisions and different tasks than have been required in the past.
  • I will invest myself in the process of learning good leadership.
  • I will work with faculty and my fellow committee members/monitors to construct an identity for my group that encompasses a diversity of viewpoints and serves the larger Taft community.
  • In order to act with moral authority, I will conduct myself in accordance with the Honor Code, the rules of the community and with the highest personal integrity.