COVID-19 keeps some clubs from gathering

By Madeline Alvarez, Editor-In-Chief

You may have noticed that the flyers advertising events for clubs and organizations, which usually cover the doors and walls around campus, have been scarce this semester, but clubs and organizations are still active.

Joshua Woods, graduate assistant for Student Activities and Intramurals, said that some clubs and organizations that are still active include HALO, the Visual Arts Club, STEM, ASA, and Diversity Roundtable.

Director of Multicultural Engagement and Campus Life Joseph Shepard said that there are several organizations that have decided to opt out of participating in events for the first semester due to COVID-19 concerns.

“And every situation is different,” Shepard said. “I know that one student organization reached out and said that they didn't plan on being active this semester but want to be active for the academic year.”

Woods said that active clubs and organizations are required to follow CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19, including having hand sanitizer available, taking attendance and wearing face masks.

All events that were open to the public have been suspended for the fall semester, he said. Everyone who participates in club or organization events or meetings must be a member of the Newman community.

Shepard said that since there is now limited space on campus for hosting events, it is important that club’s and organization’s requests to hold events must be submitted to Student Life within 10 days of the event’s date.

“[I] really want to encourage our student organizations to remain active even during COVID-19,” Shepard said. “And one of the things that I've been really stressing is that while COVID-19 is a reason to remain safe and to take extra precautions, it is not a reason to go dormant. And I'm afraid that if our student organizations take this time to go dormant, they won't come back. And we don't want that to happen. And so we are even open to teaching our students how to utilize Zoom, teaching our students how to have virtual meetings, and so we're gonna do whatever we can, but we need our student organizations…to meet us halfway so that way we can do the rest of the work to do this.”

PHOTO: Madeline Alvarez, Editor-In-Chief