Clubs during Covid times

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Photo Courtesy of Annabelle South

Best Buddies first went online last spring after the pandemic hit. Since then, they’ve introduced a variety of virtual activities to keep their community active.

For many students, the best part of the school day is going to club meetings. They’re an outlet for learning new skills, discussing interesting topics and making new friends. Now, with school continuing online for the foreseeable future, how are WJ’s clubs continuing to foster a sense of community?

Senior and Sources of Strength officer Danielle Nevett has been feeling the effects of the pandemic on her club.

“It’s definitely a challenge because there’s so much that’s still up in the air,” Nevett said.

Senior Victoria Rentsch, Sources of Strength president, admits that it’s been difficult to get in touch with administration regarding club activities. The club typically hosts an all day training in October, an event that will require a total revamp in order to continue online. She also expressed concern regarding the effectiveness of online meetings.

“With covid, we can’t be in person, so planning an all day training definitely presents some challenges… I know sometimes energy is pretty low on Zoom, so I’m worried that we won’t be able to have the same impact because everyone is isolated,” Rentsch said.

The UNICEF club is also attempting to find ways to continue their activities during Covid-19.

“We’re trying to think of ways to raise money virtually… A raffle, maybe jeopardy,” senior Mia Chai, co-president, said.

Clubs that focus on student outreach and fundraising are suffering, but what does online school mean for clubs that are built entirely on human connection? Senior and Best Buddies President Annabelle South is trying her best to make the most out of the situation.

“The truth is, we’re just all so happy to see each other again,” South said.

The club typically hosts friendship building activities both inside and outside of school. This year members have been forced to be creative in organizing their events.

“Best Buddies is all about forming one-on-one friendships, and that’s really difficult over Zoom, to really connect with someone else. But we’re trying our best through bonding activities and online “get to know you” activities and meet and greets… It’ll be a challenge, but there’s still gonna be a lot of friendships made this year,” South said.

One new group joining the ranks at WJ this year is WJ to 100, a club dedicated to registering 100% of WJ seniors to vote. Luckily for them, online school hasn’t presented much of a hindrance in reaching their goal.

“Most of it is reaching out to people over text or Instagram… It’s so easy to register online [to vote],” senior member Emmie Maisel said.

The pandemic has taken its toll on the social lives of students across WJ. In a time when community is needed more than ever, clubs haven’t given up their quest to connect students and inspire hope during such an unprecedented situation.

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