Virtual is the new reality

Clubs start holding meetings online

Mahika Kanchanam, Staff Writer

Wake up, eat, sleep, repeat. After a long summer of social distancing and not much to do, it feels good to get back into the flow of things. While you know it may be awhile before you see your peers in person, opening your laptop and being able to catch up and get back into the school environment feels good.

Students are longing for some casual friendly interaction with their peers. In order to keep encouraging students to participate in school activities some clubs have decided to transition to Zoom meetings. 

To keep students who are online learners engaged in their interests and in the community – clubs like FCCLA, Writer’s Club, and Interact Club, have transitioned to online meetings.The club sponsors agree online meetings have been a great way for members to reconnect and go back to their daily routines. 

“Over the summer I’ve missed interacting with my club members,” Writer’s Club president Kaylee Knutson said. “I’m super excited about writing and getting back into the groove of school, and just having these club meetings is a good sense of normalcy.”

With the option of Zoom meetings, all club members have the opportunity to get back into doing what they love with the people they enjoy working with. These meetings have also helped connect people who want to help others in the community. 

“I think that it is more important than ever to have clubs operating over Zoom because so many people want a place to belong. Especially in times where you might be lonely. So if we can provide a space for people to belong, help the community, and be safe while doing it, that’s a great thing,” president of Interact Club Junior Luke McDermott said. 

Zoom meetings have helped FCCLA and Interact club to continue helping the community. Encouraged with including members who are both in school and remote, clubs are finding new ways to collaborate, share their ideas, and continue fulfilling the purpose of the club. 

The FCCLA leadership team has been in contact with organizations like Open Door Mission to find various volunteer opportunities while still being able to socially distance.  

“We will look into those for students who feel comfortable. It will definitely look different this year, but we want to do our best to focus on helping our community in any way we can,” said family consumer science teacher and FCCLA sponsor Amy Breiter. 

While transitioning to include  Zoom meetings, Betzold and Knutson, share some of the perks of online meetings. 

“One benefit is that we are not limited by the school day. For example, several students have an 8th hour, so we moved the Zoom time back to 4:15 to allow them to participate,” Betzold said.

With more flexibility in the club schedules Interact club sees a great turnout at their first meeting. 

“Zoom might make it easier because we can share our screens which is pretty nice. We can use that to our advantage. If everyone is on zoom and we share a screen, everyone can see what we are trying to share, which makes up more connected in a way,” Knutson says. 

Screen share allows members to share their ideas in an easier way, and build on each other’s thoughts. They are finding new ways to keep the club interesting and inclusive. 

“The pandemic has changed all of our lives, and none of us want it this way. However, to paraphrase Theodore Roosevelt, we can still do what we can, with what we have, where we are,”Betzold said.