Clubs adapt to virus restrictions

Kelsie Stevens | Banner | The Environmental Club at California Baptist University meets over Zoom call.

This semester, California Baptist University clubs resumed meetings and activities, but they are required to abide by COVID-19 restrictions. Most clubs are meeting virtually through platforms such as  Zoom, WebEx and Instagram Live.

Clubs began this semester with a virtual Club Fair that occurred during the week of Sept. 7 through Instagram.

Taylor Altizer, assistant director of Campus Activities, works with students to create and manage clubs. She said club presidents have had to rethink how they will manage their clubs from new platforms.

“What I love about our club presidents is that they are supportive of one other and have proven to be resilient during this time,” Altizer said. “They were not anticipating having to navigate such a unique year. While there have been some disappointing moments, our club presidents have been quick to adjust.”

Altizer began to plan how  clubs would navigate the coronavirus as the shutdown began in March. Although many clubs continued during the spring shutdown, Altizer said she was initially worried about how clubs would remain active this semester. However, she worked with club presidents to plan ways through which clubs can continue.

In fact, Altizer said some of the new practices they have introduced, such as the virtual element of club activities and the increased communication between Community Life and club leaders, might continue beyond the pandemic.

“Club presidents have had to think differently about club engagement, which has expanded the population of students involved in clubs,” Altizer said. “Students who live at home can engage virtually, and that is an awesome byproduct of the adjustments we have had to make. I hope that as things improve, we still maintain this mindset and continue to serve all students.”

Mary Shanks, senior liberal studies major and president of the Disney Club, said her club will have monthly meetings through Zoom and Instagram. She said she has faced some challenges since she must communicate with members solely through social media.

“We are moving along to try to bring the joy of the Disney club on campus to students at home,” Shanks said. “In the spring, we struggled to keep our members involved, but we are working to host events we would have done on campus and have new events.”

Alondra Blanco, junior environmental science major and secretary of the environmental science club, said that the club has to plan virtual events such as watching environmental documentaries and holding informational sessions about the environment.

“We are trying to get some events together, which is difficult because we cannot have in-person meetings,” Blanco said. “It is allowing us to be more creative in being stewards of the environment.”

Clubs will continue to hold virtual events and use no-contact methods.

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