Alisha Jucevic/The Columbian
For hundreds of students at Cypress High, clubs are an important part of social life, where like-minded students can gather, learn, and lead. But with the current lockdown, there rises a question— how can these clubs continue in a virtual environment?
When she first heard that clubs were going completely online, senior Zina Gorashi, co-president of Black Student Union (BSU) was not surprised. “I knew inevitably that we would end up having to organize our clubs online since we were finishing the last school year through distance learning,” she said. Of course, this didn’t prevent her from feeling the disappointment that many students at Cypress experienced. “Knowing that [clubs would be online] made me upset because I was looking forward to having an exciting club full of in-person bonding activities and volunteer opportunities, but of course staying in quarantine is of higher priority.” Knowing that there would be no in person meetings created obstacles for clubs, but fortunately, many have managed to remain connected.
“I’ve generally been working with the board members and discussing through texts or calls,” said senior Jenny Kim, president of the Speech and Debate club. “But with other board members, we’ve been connecting through Discord to keep them updated.” Like Speech and Debate, many other clubs are resorting to apps such as Discord and Zoom to stay in touch.
Along with regular club meetings, other aspects of club activities, such as competitions, have evolved. “The online tournaments we are going to are definitely very different and surprising. It’s just odd that they’re holding it online in the first place, but also interesting to see how they’re adapting to the whole situation just so we can debate over Zoom,” Kim commented.
After hearing about what clubs are doing right now, most can’t help but wonder what clubs will be like in the future. Will student activities change drastically after this year online? Surprisingly, most club presidents say no. “I think that the only thing that will change is that meetings will be online for quite a while. Obviously, we don’t know when it will be safe enough to be around each other, but I’m expecting it to take a while before complete safety. Other than that, what will be discussed and focused on in the club will not change,” said Gorashi. Many clubs are clueless as to how long they must stay online. Though they are disappointed about only seeing each other online, they know that eventually they’ll be able to meet in person. Naturally, clubs revolve around that type of tangible contact to function normally. “I think we’ll go back to how it was, at least for our club because we’re kind of face to face talkers and our team loves interacting with each other too much to stay online,” agrees Kim.
All in all, the clubs here at Cypress are doing their best to lift spirits and keep students engaged. With the leadership of their club presidents and the help of social media, the clubs of Cypress High continue to unite students through this rollercoaster of a school year.