Face-to-face: some clubs meet in-person after year of mandated online meetings

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Dillon Balantac

Students handling sales at the first Easter Seals fundraiser of the school year. Clubs were able to ease some restrictions after their third year of being affected by COVID-19.

By Kenna Kaneshiro, Staff Writer

 

Recently, with more flexible COVID-19 regulations, school clubs are able to begin in-person meetings and ease into pre-pandemic functions.

“This year we put the clubs on a big Padlet that we shared with everybody and then students could join Zoom rooms that the clubs had opened,” said Bill Wheeler, Director of Student Activities.
Students who were not able to physically make meetings in the past have benefitted within the last year, as it is easier to attend club meetings virtually and be more involved than they would’ve if there weren’t any precautions.

“I joined most of my clubs last year, so I’m not sure what the norm[ality] is, but I would assume that the only difference is that everyone is a lot closer together, and I guess activities are more hands-on versus a lot of virtual stuff that we do,” said sophomore Sydney Woolley, a member in MUN, Chinese Club, Easter Seals, Random Acts of Kindness Club, Study Buddies, and an editor for the Literary and Art Magazine.

Some competitive clubs, such as the Math Team and Cyber Owls continue to manage on Zoom, which is how they functioned before COVID-19.

Larger clubs have mostly been affected, as they are restricted from passing out food items and having a large number of students gathered in one area.

“The mask kind of hides your expressions and the way that you express to other people,” said junior Liana Ono, a member in Study Buddies, Future Farmers of America, and Easter Seals.

Certain things haven’t changed due to the pandemic, especially where clubs have been meeting, which are mainly in classrooms and other spaces around campus.

“The biggest thing was that the students couldn’t meet in person, but this week they told us that we’re allowed to meet in person,” said Michael Hangai, the advisor for Christian Club.

As of now, clubs have a maximum capacity of approximately 15 people within a room, and there are hopes to expand the capacity to eventually allow events that can involve both club and non-club members.

“For me personally I’m a part of the Easter Seals Club and what we do is on campus activities to raise money for organizations and because of COVID-19 we haven’t been able to do much of that,” said Woolley.

Easter Seals was able to host their first fundraiser during COVID-19 on Oct. 26, making over $400.

The goal for the second semester is to broaden the capabilities of the clubs and the activities they can do, opening up campus a little more and letting students do more in person activities.

“I expect it to improve, in the second semester we’re hoping that we can be more open with the types of things that we do,” said Wheeler.