Club Activities Don’t Feel the Same
Bio Med Club Meets Virtually with President Kathlyn Periquet presenting
As the school year continues virtually, alongside the curriculum, extracurriculars, and club activities, also strive to steer through the rough roads of a virtual environment. Has participation in clubs and other school activities died down due to the online environment, and is that weakening student connection?
Michelle Camacho, a senior at Gahr and a member of the BioMed club for roughly two years, shared her experiences with the BioMed club during online learning, “I would say that the club activities are a bit strained compared to last year considering we can’t have things such as blood drives to help others out. Although, the teachers and members did make the most out of the pandemic since they managed to get a doctor for us to interview… ” Michelle has experience with what it is like to be a part of a club virtually and non-virtually and when comparing the two, virtual seems different, to say the least, because of the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. Regular activities that many clubs partook in had to be changed and thus member experiences might seem, as Michelle put it, strained. For example, an interview with a doctor doesn’t allow potential future doctors to gain some hands-on experience working with others like how a blood drive in the past did. Similarly, many other clubs undergo a change in activities that may not provide the same benefits to members and officers alike.
Considering an officer’s point of view, creating these school events and continuing club activities while trying to capture the attention and participation of as many students as possible virtually poses difficulties as well. Nandini Karmokar, who has been active in the French club for almost 3 years and is currently the vice president, stated “[non-virtual environment] was easier because we were able to be more interactive and hold entertaining activities that kept the members occupied and interested. In addition to this, publicizing our meetings through posters and spreading awareness through our peers also increased the club’s meeting attendance. [Virtually] it is much harder to maintain the same strategies. With social media being our main source of interaction, other than meetings, our member count has decreased greatly.”
Keep in mind, some students may not have social media, rarely use it, or are not aware/do not keep up with Gahr’s club accounts. Additionally, there may be much less motivation to deal with clubs. Thus participation slacks and the challenges of connecting students increases.
However, officers and many clubs still continue to brainstorm new ideas to make the virtual experience unique and enjoyable, but not obsolete.
Participation and club excitements may have died down now compared to how it was before the pandemic, but many officers and members strive to be involved and encourage participation. If more students try to participate in club events it would help show school spirit, encourage unity among students, and help clubs become more interactive!