Clubs and Student Life During COVID-19

Photo by Southern Oregon University

Humans have always had a desire for connection, especially during times of hardship. Luckily, many clubs at Southern Oregon University are doing just that: connecting one another.

The Siskiyou sat in on a Zoom call with members of Student Life, including Andrew Zucker, Director of Clubs and Student Organizations, Tatiana Bredikin, Event and Travel Administrative Assistant, and Danielle Mancuso, Associate Director of Student Life. The weekly meeting discussed ways to connect students to clubs and heard how other clubs are interacting with their members during this period of social distancing. Also participating in this club was Kelsey Ann Mamizuka, one of the board members of the Ho’opa’a Hawai’i Club, who offered insights into how she was keeping up with her club.

The main topic of the meeting was how clubs are keeping in contact with their members or ways they can start. Social media apps and websites such as Instagram and Facebook have been beneficial in this mission, as well as clubs hosting Zoom meetings with their members. When talking about ways to gain new members in a way that complies with social distancing, one of the ideas that was offered was large Zoom meetings where members of the student population can hear about the clubs on campus.

The group also discussed how Student Life could connect with students, either through Instagram or Zoom, and even reaching out to students directly. “We want to hear about the successes of the clubs on campus, and have a group of people to be ready to help if they need it,” Bredikin said. The members of Student Life are also working on compiling a master calendar of all the events the different clubs on campus are offering. 

Mamizuka explained that she and the other members of the Ho’opa’a Hawai’i Club board are, “reaching out weekly to see if their members need anything and checking in with everyone.” The club has also been active on social media, particularly Instagram, with daily posts and a new theme to their photos. “We want to involve our members at a distance,” she said, “because our Luau got canceled, we’re having our members do their dances from home; they record themselves, and after they are all collected we will turn it into a compilation of dances from home.” It’s an opportunity for people to see different styles of dancing from various club members.

Andrew Zucker stated that moving to remote delivery for clubs can be seen as an excellent opportunity to connect with online students, who wouldn’t be able to go to club meetings to begin with. “This gives us a chance to work with more clubs, and continue to have a positive impact on the SOU environment,” he said. 

All in all, making sure students stay connected and checking in with each other is crucial for bringing positive light into their lives. Many of the virtual events on campus can be found here, as well as going on Presence to see what other events clubs are offering.

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