Clubs Find New Ways to Function During Pandemic

Teachers and students are scrambling to figure out a safe way to continue clubs. NAACP officer Laila Meredith is eager to come up with new ideas on how to get people engaged and enthusiastic about participating.  


“It is difficult not being able to meet with students in-person this year. We are having to find new ways to reach out to people,” Meredith said. 


Meredith emphasized the importance of technology during this time when in-person club meetings and activities are not possible. 


“Social media is a very good way to communicate and reach out to students. As the social media coach, my job is to post on Instagram any new club or school information, ways people can get involved, and links to our zoom meetings,” said Meredith.


Meredith explained that she typically spends up to seven hours on video conferences in a day and then spends additional time completing assignments on the computer. 


“I definitely understand why students might not want to join a virtual club meeting at the end of the day after they have had Zooms for all of their classes, but we are working on ways to get people engaged and excited about being involved,” Meredith said. 


When it comes to volunteering and doing things in the community, club leaders are coming up with new ideas. Keeping students safe is the main priority during the pandemic, so many volunteer opportunities are being held virtually. 


“For NAACP, we have looked into several different online volunteer opportunities, phone banking, and voting drives,” Meredith said, “our goal is to provide opportunities for people to be involved, but also stay safe.”


The Junior Civitan Club is taking similar steps in finding alternative methods of volunteering. Co-Presidents Swathi Menon and Ainsley Anderson are working to find opportunities for club members to meet traditional requirements. 


“Junior Civitan has always been a club that required in-person volunteering, but we are having to come up with new ways for people to participate, in order to keep everyone safe,” Menon said. 


Junior Civitan is being flexible with requirements, since students might not have as many volunteer opportunities as they did in previous years. 


“When school ended last year, we were lenient on how many hours students had completed, as long as they had participated in a certain number of events. We want students to still be able to be involved, even with all of the changes that this school year has brought,” Menon said. 


     Cooper Fisken, a member of the Beekeeping Club, described his disappointment with the club’s quiet end. “I haven’t been to a meeting since last school year. With the pandemic limiting the number of people to a room, a lot of clubs have just given up in efforts to keep everyone safe. It makes me sad honestly because I always thought I was the only one with this odd hobby and in the club everyone can relate,” said Fisken.


     “Last year a lot of the time, going to a Beta Club meeting made my day and now I don’t even think it’s still happening,” junior Livi Mcknight said. “The only thing I have seen about it is a group on schoology but nothing’s been posted.” 


Those  who spent hours participating in Beta Club and volunteering now are at a loss when considering the hours they no longer have for their college applications. Beta Club members must maintain community service hours each semester to remain in the club, “It kind of feels unfair,” Mcknight said.