Spence is committed to offering students varied opportunities for extracurricular participation. The School believes that participation in extracurricular activities enables students to develop talents that may find little expression in the classroom. Extracurricular activities often require collaboration between students, rendering the process of involvement as important as the finished product. Because Spence is a small school with a cohesive community, many students have the opportunity to assume a leadership position in an organization or club by the time they graduate.

Club offerings vary from year to year depending on student interest; not all of the activities listed below will be active in a given year.

Upper School Clubs and Affinity Groups

List of 45 items.

  • Afro-Latina Alliance at Spence (ALAS)

    The Afro-Latina Alliance at Spence is an affinity group for Black, African-American and Latinx students. Founded in 1989, ALAS recognizes the ongoing challenges of creating a school community dedicated to being anti-racist and an equitable and just environment. As such, ALAS provides a safe space for Black, African-American and Latinx students in the Upper School to share in the unique challenges and opportunities of building such a community at Spence. Weekly meetings allow ALAS members and the faculty advisors of ALAS to help students direct conversations, plan events and occasionally create open forums for the entire Spence community to engage in meaningful dialogue around diversity issues.
  • Amnesty International

    Amnesty International is a global human rights organization which seeks to help people wherever justice, freedom, truth, and dignity are denied. Spence Amnesty International club works on signing petitions and writing letters against trafficking, fundraising and learning more about human rights violations of member’s interest, writing articles for the club's online human rights publication, spreading awareness, and more!
  • Art History Club

    Art History Club is a space for students who love to make, appreciate, or learn about art. The club holds discussions about historical and modern art and takes trips to various museums around the city. Students also have the opportunity to make presentations and share them with the rest of the group.
  • Asian Affinity

    This club offers a safe space within the Spence community for all students who identify as APIDA (Asian Pacific Islander Desi American). We discuss current events, share personal stories, and work together to make Spence a better environment for APIDA students.
  • Association to Benefit Children (ABC)

    ABC is a service club for the Association to Benefit Children, a daycare and education center for children with working parents. We help to connect Spence students to the organization and volunteer on Saturdays.
  • B.O.O.K. (Books of Our Kind)

    Books of Our Kind (BOOK) is a book club dedicated to fostering a love for reading, whether you are a book lover or want to get into reading! We use reading to delve deeper into issues impacting our communities today and expanding our knowledge of the world around us to make change for the better. Along with reading books chosen by our members, we create reading lists, write book reviews, and run book-related events available for all Upper School students.
  • Banana Splits

    Banana Splits is an affinity space for students whose parents are separated or not married to have a community of peers with shared experiences and understanding.
  • Boutique Club

    Boutique Club is the student branch of the Spence Boutique. Students design merchandise for Spence’s school store and help organize sales.
  • Caring for Kids with Cancer

    Caring for Kids with Cancer works in conjunction with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Research Hospital in NYC. The club holds card-making drives for patients in MSK's pediatric wing and collaborates on all events and fundraisers led by the hospital's student board.
  • Change Through Sports

    Change Through Sports examines the power of using sports as a platform for lasting change, and takes what is learned to create initiatives to educate others, promote community, and work with outside organizations. In the past we have volunteered with and fundraised over $1000 for America Scores, hosted a social justice panel with professional and collegiate female athletes, organized poster making parties and a school-wide dodgeball tournament, and much more.
  • Chess Club (US)

    In the Upper School Chess Club, members practice problem-solving skills, and work to improve the specific focus and concentration required in chess. They teach new members how to play and hold small tournaments, and experienced players may go to city, state or national competitions.
  • Choreography Club

    Choreography Club is a collective group of dancers who choreograph a comprehensive and unique piece for the annual dance concert. Choreography Club is for the collaborative and creative members of the student body who love to dance!
  • Civics Club

    Civics Club is a bipartisan space for the Spence community to gather and have contentious, yet dynamic, conversations surrounding the political structures that make up our city, state, and country. From having guest speakers to getting involved in local campaigns to holding voter registration drives, Civics Club finds ways to help keep our community civically engaged and provide an open environment for all students to debrief about politics, government, and current events.
  • Classics Club

    In Classics Club, members explore Roman and ancient Greek history and culture as well as the Latin and ancient Greek languages. Members participate in various activities, including mock Certamens (Latin competitions), discussing topics such as history and mythology and celebrating significant dates from ancient Rome and Greece. The club not only prepares Latin students for upcoming Certamens with other schools, but has also held its own interschool competition.
  • Community Service

    The mission of the Community Service Club is to encourage the Spence community to actively engage in community service work. The club brings the Spence Upper School together to do meaningful hands-on work to help others by partnering with various organizations.
  • Concerts in Motion

    The mission of Concerts in Motion is to bring personalized, community-based music and engagement to isolated and homebound residents in NYC. Spence students bring their musical talents to others by participating in virtual concerts curated by the organization.
  • Crafts Club

    Crafts Club is a fun space for students to decompress while making arts and crafts. We watch movies, chat, and make crafts together!
  • Creative Writing Workshop (Platform)

    Creative Writing Workshop is a space for students to write their own creative writing pieces and read and critique those of their peers. The group also publishes Platform, Spence's online literary magazine.
  • Film Club

    Film Club meets to watch a variety of films and analyze them as a group. Members of the club also showcase their own films, as well as projects in progress.
  • Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA)

    Gender Sexuality Alliance, or GSA, is a student-led and student-organized school club that aims to create a safe, welcoming, and accepting school environment for all youth, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • GETS (Girls Empowerment Through Stem)

    GETS (Girls Empowerment Through Stem) is a cross-divisional club between Middle School and Upper School students in which we participate in conversation, perform experiments, and do activities based on the STEM interests of the Middle School students. The purpose of GETS is to help empower Middle School girls to be interested in STEM fields, as well as providing mentorship from high schoolers who are interested in STEM.
  • Grassroots

    Grassroots is a locally centered club aiming to help students learn about and participate in the grassroots and social movements of today.
  • Homework Helpers

    Homework Helpers is a group of Upper School students who assist Middle School students in completing their homework and share strategies for studying and time management.
  • Jam Space

    Jam Space is a club for student musicians led by student musicians. The club is a branch of Spence Music Collective focusing on songwriting and composing original music. Jam Space allows students to play and experiment with new instruments and music genres of their choice.
  • Jewish Culture Club

    Jewish Culture Club aims to educate and spread awareness of Jewish cultures and traditions within the club and throughout the entire Spence community.
  • LETS (Let's Erase the Stigma)

    LETS is Spence’s mental health club where students work to erase the stigma surrounding mental health and educate others about mental health issues. Club meetings are used to discuss ways to help reduce stress and its symptoms, among other topics.
  • LSA

    LSA is a service group committed to supporting the organization Little Sisters of The Assumption through volunteer work and fundraising efforts.
  • MENA

    MENA is an affinity group for Middle Eastern, Northern African, and Muslim students. It provides a supportive space for students who identify with this affinity to talk and learn about our shared identities.
  • Microfinance Club

    The mission of Microfinance Club is to spread awareness and gain involvement in microfinance by raising and lending funds (raised and collected by Spence students in the club) to women entrepreneurs worldwide. Microfinance Club aims to loan to all countries across the globe and across many different sectors.
  • Mock Trial

    The mission of Mock Trial is to understand our legal system—specifically the trial process—by learning the rules of evidence and procedure. In this way, Mock Trial is a club that focuses on legal education. However, Mock Trial’s mission also includes a dramatic component. The team is made up not only of “lawyers,” but also “witnesses,” who must memorize their affidavits and from that information testify as that character. In its essence, the mission of Mock Trial is to inspire students about justice in America.
  • Multiracial Affinity

    Multiracial Affinity is a space for students who identify as mixed-race to discuss race-related current events, representation, and personal experiences about racial identity. Members participate in a caring and tight-knit community dedicated to lending a listening ear, celebrating our cultures, and empowering each other.
  • Operation Gratitude Club

    Operation Gratitude Club's mission is to provide support and gratitude to deployed service members, first responders, veterans and their families through all kinds of community and kindness building initiatives.
  • PAW (Club for the Preservation of Animal Welfare)

    Partnered with organizations like Bideawee and Wilderness Foundation Africa, the Club for the Preservation of Animal Welfare (PAW) is a service club dedicated to animal rights, wildlife conservation, and pet adoption. Through volunteer work in dog/cat shelters, supply drives, presentations on endangered species, and discussions on government policies, PAW members partake in the fight for a kinder, safer world for our animal friends.
  • Peer Tutors

    The mission of Peer Tutors is to enable Spence students to collaboratively address academic needs within the student body. Students are partnered with peer tutors based on subject, availability, and level. Through one-on-one, regular tutoring sessions between tutors and tutees, Peer Tutors seeks to help all Spence students reach their academic potential.
  • SEED (Students for Ethical Environmental Difference)

    SEED, Students for Ethical Environmental Difference, strives to educate those within the Spence community and beyond about our responsibility to engage intentionally with our environment to catalyze positive change. In SEED, we expand people's knowledge on environmental issues, discuss current events, and help make our community more environmentally conscious via various interactive initiatives. 
  • Spence Business Club

    The Spence Business Club gives students the opportunity to formulate unique ideas for start up companies and pitch them to a panel of judges, made of their peers.
  • Spence Tutoring Outreach

    Spence Tutoring Outreach partners children in New York City with Spence students to provide academic and emotional support to enable them to excel in their later educational pursuits. The club conducts school supplies drives, hosts fundraisers, and partners with nonprofit organizations such as Legal Aid, Edumate, and Learn to Be to have an impact in these children's lives.
  • Spence Women in Agriculture and Gardening Club (SWAG)

    The Spence Women in Agriculture and Gardening Club (SWAG) strives to encourage women in the agricultural industry, achieve a harmony between the members of the Spence community and the natural environment that surrounds them, and better the common spaces of our school.
  • Spence Women’s Action Network (SWAN)

    Grades 9-12

    Feminist (n) = A person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of all sexes. SWAN is a discussion-based club where we talk about current political and social issues regarding gender roles and inequality. We want to educate our peers about commonly overlooked issues, such as double standards for both sexes, and encourage them to feel comfortable talking about these topics in everyday life. In our discussions we incorporate all aspects of life and encourage members to bring topics they would like to explore.
  • SpenceHacks

    SpenceHacks plans Spence's annual Hackathon.
  • Stand Up and Sketch Comedy Club

    Stand Up and Sketch Comedy Club is a space for students to collaborate, discuss and create through explorations in the world of comedy.
  • Stock Market Club

    The Stock Market Club is a game club where students learn how the stock market works. Members participate in a virtual stock market game where they are given $100,000 (virtual dollars) to invest in stocks. Students compete against clubs in Interschool schools.
  • SWAN (Spence Women's Action Network)

    SWAN, or Spence Women’s Action Network, is Spence’s feminist/women's action club. It meets weekly to plan fundraisers for organizations such as Planned Parenthood or the Black Women’s Justice Institute and host discussions on topics such as institutionalized misogyny and intersectionality in feminism.
  • Women in Computer Science

    In Women in Computer Science club, we talk about women in the Computer Science field breaking boundaries in order to create a more equitable and diverse workforce.
  • Young Sages (Dorot)

    Young Sages is a community service after-school program that gives students the chance to visit with senior citizens through DOROT's Friendly Visiting Program, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of New York City's elderly population through intergenerational activities and home visits. Additionally, the program provides middle school students with the opportunity to form friendships with Upper School students and learn valuable leadership skills.

Upper School Student Organizations and Teams

List of 17 items.

  • Booster Squad

    Grades 9-12

    Booster Squad is a student-run dance group whose main goal is to present hip-hop inspired choreography to the Spence community. Its members are chosen by audition. In addition to performing at the annual Spence Dance Concert, members also perform at other events such as Siesta Fiesta and the Spring Dance Performance.
  • Computing Team

    The Computing Team focuses on building logic, computation, and coding skills, applying these through the American Computer Science League competitions. All club activities are punctuated by teamwork and collaboration, with team members tackling new concepts through games and problem sets. 
  • Debate

    The Spence Debate Club is a venue for Spence students to gain oratorical skills, confidence in performing speeches and the ability to argue current issues in a competitive environment. The Debate Club competes in national circuit tournaments each year as well as weekly local tournaments.
  • Equity Council

    The Upper School Equity Council is committed to building strong connections between the student body and the administration and to ensuring that all students and adults feel a full sense of belonging at Spence. We focus our full attention on fostering an affirmative school climate characterized by respect and engagement.
  • eVoice

    The eVoice is Spence’s online newspaper and digital content hub. It aims to take advantage of the freedom offered by its online format to include a range of content and media. Covering a wide range of formats and topics - from essays to photographs to vlogs, TV to politics to opinion - we’re dedicated to student voices and expression.
  • Math Team

    The Spence Math Team combines academic rigor, empowerment, and camaraderie. We compete in a variety of local, regional, and national tournaments.
  • Model Congress

    Model Congress participates in local and national conferences, traveling to universities across the country, where delegates write and debate proposed legislation. Members learn to model real congressional proceedings, discussing relevant current events and improving their public speaking skills.
  • Model United Nations

    Model United Nations is the student organization at Spence dedicated to debating current issues in foreign affairs and learning collaboration and public speaking skills. Model UN participates in various conferences and is renowned for its simulation of true United Nations debate, with parliamentary procedure and country representation. Model United Nations aims to educate Spence students on international issues so as to improve global awareness throughout the community.
  • Red Door

    Red Door works with the administration to give tours and host admissions events in order to give prospective students and families insight into what it is like to be a student at Spence. Through tours, open houses and panels, the club strives to convey Spence’s philosophies thoroughly and wholeheartedly.
  • Robotics Team

    Robotics Club allocates a space for STEM-loving students to collaborate in designing, building, and programming a robot from scratch. Our student-run team competes in the FTC Robotics Tournament each year.
  • Science Team

    The Science Team is a competitive team of scientific-minded girls. The team competes in Science Olympiad and science bowl. Additionally, the team interviews guest scientists and creates science experiments and research studies. The team also publishes The Nucleus, the Spence School's award-winning scientific magazine dedicated to covering current science events both within and outside the Red Doors.
  • Spence Business Organization

    The Spence Business Organization creates the business model for Spencer's Cafe, the student-run cafe at 412. Through the Spence Business Organization, students learn entrepreneurial skills and experience hands-on aspects of running a small business, like setting inventory and prices, deciding how to spend profits, and staffing the cafe.
  • Spence Multicultural Awareness Coalition (SMAC)

    SMAC (Spence’s Multicultural Awareness Coalition) is a student-run club that works with Spence faculty to promote discussion within the Spence community. By leading workshops (on topics decided by the student body’s interests) and providing spaces for students to communicate their own perspectives, we promote diversity and opportunities for activism.
  • Student Council

    The mission of Student Council is to provide support to Spence policies as well as Upper School clubs and organizations. Student Council openly addresses any issues that arise in areas concerning the Upper School student body. These areas include the social and extracurricular life of the Upper School. Student Council hopes to maintain a healthy relationship among other clubs and organizations, and serve as a resource if clubs and organizations need one. Student Council also serves to bridge communication between the student body and the faculty and administration. Finally, Student Council seeks to keep students’ Spence spirit high with various events and initiatives.
  • The Voice

    The Voice is the official student newspaper of the Spence School. It exists to serve as a conduit of communication within the Spence School community, and to celebrate the talents, accomplishments and initiatives of the School, its students and faculty members. We hope to promote the School’s spirit in insightful dialogues that inspire and involve readers.
  • Triple Trio

    One of the oldest student groups at Spence, Triple Trio is a student-run, audition-only a capella group. Singing contemporary hits and old-school favorites, Triple performs at important Spence events, the choral concerts and on other special occasions, becoming a tight-knit musical community in the process. At the end of the year, we record a CD of our repertoire and sell it on the last day of school, using the funds for the coming year. Triple is a great source of tradition, music and family.
  • Yearbook

    The Yearbook is produced for the School’s approximately 700 students, in addition to the faculty, administrators, parents and alumni of the Spence community. It aims to create a historical record of the school year by generating a creative 300-page themed yearbook that embodies the entire Spence community, including spirit and academics.