Clubs adopt new protocols under COVID-19

Animal+Care+Club+holds+bake+sale+fundraiser+under+COVID+restrictions%3B+photo+credit.

Maddie Tremblay

Animal Care Club holds bake sale fundraiser under COVID restrictions; photo credit.

Joy Han, Staff Writer

When the new school year started up, clubs and activities found ways to adapt to the new school guidelines. From online meetings to social distancing, many clubs have had to shift how they operate to minimize the spread of COVID-19. 

This year, clubs will be run virtually using Zoom, including any events held. 

“Most of the contests have moved to Zoom,” Math Team coach Alison Langsdorf said. “We’ve been able to maintain a competition schedule despite all of the pandemic protocols that we’re going through.” 

Club advisors and coaches have also been taking full advantage of the online tools newly available to them. Breakout rooms have been beneficial to group collaboration, Langsdorf said. 

“We can share our screens and look at each other’s work,” added Yearbook Club advisor Cynthia Brisky. 

Apart from this, the Asian Student Union (ASU) has even made use of other online tools besides Zoom. 

“We have a Discord server and a Google Classroom,” junior executive officer Jessy Wang said. “Whenever we have something going on, we’ll usually make an announcement in both of them.”

In addition, contests and meets are leveraging digital resources to facilitate competition.

“Students will enter their answers via Google Forms, and then they populate a spreadsheet for us,” Langsdorf shared. “I think some of these changes . . . might stick around even after coronavirus is less of a concern.”

The Animal Care Club has even been able to hold its own events virtually. 

“We raised over $700 through our bake sale this year,” club president Maddie Tremblay said. “Because it was virtual, we were able to include the community more.”

The club members have since donated the money to the Baypath Humane Society. 

However, the school’s modifications haven’t come without difficulties. The Yearbook Club, for instance, has had practical issues getting the pictures needed to fill yearbook pages in the absence of the usual fall events and sports. 

“We’ve missed a lot of activities that we usually have in the fall, so we’ve had to think about what the pages are going to be and reorganize things,” Brisky said. “It’s hard to take a picture when everyone’s spread apart.”

Senior yearbook editor Michelle Kim noted that the club has shifted to accommodate this, taking Zoom screenshots of clubs and activities to replace the usual pictures of gathered students.

“All we have is pictures of a grid of people,” Kim said. “It’s the [same] activity, but [the pictures are] not as personal.” 

Meanwhile, clubs have also been unable to provide food to students, which was a well-appreciated treat in the past. 

“We used to have little dinner parties at each other’s houses,” recalled former ASU advisor Kim Dang. “It was really nice to get to know people’s families. [We] really felt like we were a community when we did things like that.“

Math Team, too, was forced to cut food-related aspects of the club. 

“The contests used to serve pizza,” Langsdorf reminisced. “I imagine that there are some students who really miss that aspect.”

Overall, clubs are doing their best to overcome the obstacles presented by the school guidelines, but many students and teachers simply want to meet in-person again.

“It’s not the same,” ASU advisor Angela Lee said, referring to the new club protocols. “Hopefully by next year we can pick things up again.”