One of the things that makes the college vibrant is the social life on campus. One of the main sources of social life is through clubs. However, With COVID-19 and having to move all things online this semester, clubs are finding new challenges to sustain that social life.
“All this is new for the clubs,” Anne Turney, Manager of student life and leader, said. “I am trying to adjust by learning as much as possible, researching, finding ways we could shift our club programs online whether it be zoom or something else.”
“At the start of the year, we had successful clubs and orgs retreat,” Turney said. “There were a lot of club leaders who came together and got good ideas to deal with the challenges. These challenges include recruiting new members and not being able to have meetings face to face.”
Even with the options online provides, these challenges are affecting some clubs more than others.
“Because of COVID-19 and not being active on campus, Business Club has been forced to take a gap year,” student Isaiah Reasby said. “Our big project we have going on is running the jean drive that gets shredded and turns to Inflation for Habitat for Humanity. We also host dinners and have guests come in.”
Reasby is also President of Kindness Club. And although Business Club is stalled, Kindness Club is still finding ways to stay active.
“We are able to pivot and do online challenges on Instagram and Facebook with anyone that wants to participate,” Reasby said. “Our first challenge was to call someone you haven’t talked to in a while. Just easy challenges that spread kindness. We are hoping the Involvement Fair increases the members in the club.”
Reasby is referring to involvement clubs and organization events that happen at the start of each semester to recruit new members.
Not being able to have on campus activities did not stop the Involvement Fair from happing this year. A virtual Involvement Fair took place On Wednesday September 16 through Zoom.
In the Virtual Involvement Fair, “students were able to see various boxes that represent the clubs. Then, students clicked the boxes and met up with the clubs via Zoom” Turney said.
The clubs that were involved for virtual involvement fair this year are:
- Active Minds
- Amigos Sin Fronteras
- Baptist Campus Ministry
- Club de Français
- Honors Student Association
- Model United Nations
- Phi Theta Kappa
- Student Senate
- Student Life
Even with there being so much limitation on what the clubs can do, it has opened some new opportunities.
“We [Student Life] have always wanted to do podcasts but it was just something that was on our minds,” Turney said. “After we went remote, a couple of ambassadors brought up the idea of starting it. We felt it was the right time to do it, so we developed a solid plan and now we have a podcast called Cavalier Corner hosted by our ambassadors.”
Cavalier Corner is a podcast that discusses all things that involve student life at the college. They have discussed all things from fun topics like favorite movies to more serious topics like mental health during COVID-19.
Through all this adjusting, the main goal of the clubs is still the same.
“As much as the clubs might change, the need and desire for students to be connected socially hasn’t,” Turney said. I think there is a positive and it’s an opportunity for students to rethink what they’ve always done. It can be easy for any group to get into a cycle of doing the same things. This forces students to think outside the box and really rely on each other’s creative strategies to keep the clubs going and the clubs active.”
By Yohannes Girma