COVID Clubs

COVID+Clubs

Kaylee DeWalt, Staff

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Clubs are an integral part of students’ social life. In past years, students have had easy access to clubs around the school; however, this year, with most students online, joining and returning to clubs has become difficult. 

 

As the new school year progresses, the number of social activities does too. With new safety guidelines and over half the student population online, club officers and staff sponsors have had to become creative in an effort to keep their clubs running. 

 

“I do think the current guidelines may restrict some clubs, or they may feel restricted, but I’ve seen so much resilience and creativity from our staff and students,” Leslie Laird, English teacher and sponsor to Young Writers Club (YWC) and the American Sign Language (ASL) club, said. “If they want to make a club event happen, they will. It’s just a matter of being innovative.”

 

Because of COVID, many clubs have had to change the way they are originally run. From accommodating both in-person and online students, to canceling trips and competitions, many clubs have had to think of innovative ways to continue on.

 

Clubs have definitely been affected by COVID in the way that we operate,” Phuong Tran, junior and an officer of both Science Olympiad and Mu Alpha Theta (MAT), said. “Meetings are held through Zoom, and the atmosphere is different compared to if we were in person. Our usual plans from the past can’t be used anymore because of social distancing.”

In-person and online students come together in Mr. Yarto’s room after school for their first meeting via Zoom.

Clubs follow the same safety guidelines that are put in place around the school. 

 

“YWC is following the same safety guidelines that we do in school – social distancing, mask-wearing and my fabulous sanitizing skills,” Laird said. “YWC added an online component this year using a Zoom meeting that brings our Connect students here to the classroom.”

 

The pandemic has had a negative impact on a few clubs, including MAT, resulting in lower membership and spurred growth.

 

“Our membership in MAT is down about 50% from last year and it’s because we are meeting virtually,” Enrique Yarto, Math teacher and sponsor to Mu Alpha Theta and Senior Men and Women(SWAM), said. “Since we’re not even meeting for SWAM, COVID has essentially killed this club.”

 

The lesser amounts of students attending clubs is mostly due to limited information. In the past, most clubs would advertise with posters and through the announcements; however, since most kids are not there to see the posters or hear the announcements, club officers are struggling to advertise. 

 

“For our first [Mu Alpha Theta] meeting, the number of people who showed up was less than desired, but there’s not much we can do about that,“ Tran said. “For our next meeting, we’re going to continue to advertise and get more into what the club really does.”