Central Clubs Are Navigating A New Virtual World

Abigail Murillo, Staff Writer

Some clubs have found member involvement challenging due to the transition from the on-campus to the online campus experience. But club leaders are persevering and continue to recruit new members while also getting their current members to participate during meeting times.

Errol McDonald, president of the United Caribbean Club, said that ever since meetings have been virtual, it has drastically affected the number of people participating in club activities.

“We have 100 members that signed up for the club, but back then, we had 15 to 20 members on a regular basis,” McDonald said. “The transition has affected us with everything being virtual, we have maybe one club member come, and she became our club secretary.”

Since life on campus hasn’t been the same due to complications of the coronavirus pandemic, clubs and organizations have tried holding events in new, innovative methods as an effort to keep students engaged.

“Now, since everything is virtual, we do have events [because] they are the biggest thing that we can do to keep our name alive. You know, in virtual, you can send people invites and wonder if they are going to clock in. But, when we had our first event like a couple of weeks ago, which was our paint night, that was a success,” McDonald said. “We had 40 people, 20 in person and 20 online do our paint night task, we had a food truck from Wing-it-on and that drew a lot of people in from campus.”

While some clubs are struggling to find new ways to bring in more members, others have not noticed any differences in the way they run their meetings and have maintained their club attendance.

Megyn Jasman, president of the Psychology Club, said that the transition to virtual meetings is not as impactful as other clubs, and they are maintaining their club attendance.

“We had our first guest speaker on Sept. 9th, which was a success,” Jasman said. “A professor was able to come into our meeting and talk, we also plan on doing other things as well. We promote heavily so that students know that the resource is there so they can still get involved even though we’re online. Right now, there’s an average of 20 people that come to our meetings, from our major or any other major.”

Jasman also addressed some of the concerns the Psychology Club has when it comes to hosting on-campus events or trips.

“We are going to stay strictly virtual, it seems very difficult to try to book space on campus, and we don’t want to take the time to do that because it seems like too much of a risk,” Jasman said. “We don’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable; we never want anyone to be at risk for their health.”

Central Connecticut’s Student Activities and Leadership Development (SALD) is also working actively with clubs to ensure they are developing programs that can be both live and/or virtual.