Clubs Amidst the Pandemic

DECA+booth+set+up+for+the+school%27s+Ramp-Up

DECA

DECA booth set up for the school's Ramp-Up week

As teachers and staff get ready for the return of in-person teaching, there are also students who prepare to run their clubs amidst the pandemic.

Ever since the pandemic first broke out, schools and organizations throughout the nation have had to adapt to a new way of life consisting of online school and self-isolation. Students have taken this into consideration as some of their peers decide to remain at home after September 8. Most clubs will hold Zoom meetings for those unable to attend in-person as a way to keep the club with as many active members as in previous years.

“As of now, DECA meetings will be held on Zoom until further notice,” DECA president Daniyaal Qazi said. “They will also be accessible on our Canvas page, website, and Youtube channel.”

Unlike online school, clubs and extracurriculars have not been as affected by the pandemic. With most students planning on attending in-person, the biggest difference this year than in previous is the need for club members to practice social distancing. The activities remain the same.

“Most DECA events are done individually outside of school, so it will function in the exact way it does every year,” Qazi said. “For certain events like mock competition, we will be hosting them online with a panel of judges through Zoom. There’s no unfair advantage to online versus in-person students.”

However, while clubs like DECA will accommodate for online students, there will be some clubs where those online will miss out on some activities and interactions that are not as accessible through a computer screen. 

“Those who stay at home will differ a little than in person by not having the physical experience: no touching, smelling, or tasting,” Russian club president Yulia Lisovaya said. “Sadly, those at home will miss out on some activities.”

While clubs such as DECA have been around for years, several new clubs have been established this year, including the Russian and the Pen Pal Club. Some were even created because of the pandemic, as is the case with the Pen Pal Club.

“The unprecedented and very sudden social isolation due to the coronavirus has been difficult for all,” Pen Pal Club president Sydney Fowler said. “I think that because of it, I became more aware of the importance of social interaction for mental and physical health.”

The Pen Pal Club will see College Park students connecting with the elderly in nursing and retirement homes in this time of uncertainty and pandemic. With the elderly being at a higher risk of catching COVID-19, retirement homes have been forced to place strict restrictions for visits, increasing the isolation many elderly experienced even before the pandemic. 

“Hopefully, by sending personal letters, this club can bring some excitement and happiness to those stuck in isolation,” Fowler said.

 

Below is the contact information for those interested in joining any of the clubs mentioned in the story.

Russian Club: text @cprussia at 81010 to join Remind

Pen Pal Club: follow @penpalclubcp on Instagram

DECA: text @cpdeca910 at 81010 to join Remind