Campus clubs adapt to distance learning

Despite Cosumnes River College offering classes remotely this term, campus clubs continue to recruit and find new ways to navigate through the new normal.
Clubs this fall semester have had to adapt to distance-learning by meeting over zoom and using social media as a primary tool for recruitment.
“Our recruitment period was technically during ‘Hawk Week,’ and all we had was a flier on CRC’s Instagram page,” said Asian Pacific Student Association President Charlie Jacob Nguyen. “No one really follows that, so recruitment-wise we just have to get the word out.”
Recruitment for most clubs has primarily become word of mouth and each respective club’s Instagram page.
Even clubs focused around academic majors, such as the Architecture Student Club — who have an easier time recruiting in and after classes — are still expecting much lower numbers.
“As for a change in numbers, I’m expecting less people,” said Architecture Student Club President Marishia Lopez. “Hopefully we can still find some new members even if it will be a smaller group.”
Supervisor of the Student Life and Leadership Center Oscar Mendoza Plascencia said he believes that many clubs won’t be returning this year, but stressed that there is a need for clubs in this socially-distant environment.
“I would encourage clubs to not just recharter, but for new clubs to charter to build a sense of community,” said Mendoza Plascencia.
The SLLC is doing what it can to make sure clubs can run as smoothly as possible this semester.
Mendoza Plascencia talked about how club rechartering has been made easier by only requiring a list of active members for returning clubs as proof of legitimacy. Other efforts, such as getting faculty to promote clubs, are also being pursued, said Mendoza Plascencia.
Club meetings have also had to face major changes with the restrictions of meeting in person.
Clubs like APSA, which previously had events like presentations of Asian culture and community service, have now become more of a social club.
“We still plan online meetings on our discord server. We’ve become more of a social club,” said Nguyen. “We’re still trying to have fun with it by planning movie nights and game nights while trying to find out ways to do things like community service again.”
The clubs have had some trouble keeping members engaged through zoom meetings, but have found that new members are making more of an effort to be active members of the club.
“People in general are making a conscious effort to reach out and interact. Since reaching out now is much more intentional it tends to be more personable or sincere. They’re looking for a sense of normalcy,” said Lopez.
While all the clubs have had setbacks, members agreed that Zoom has a few silver linings.
Lopez and Nguyen talked about how rescheduling meetings has become easier and how students who may have had trouble getting to campus now are able to access meetings at home.
Lopez also said there is not as much of a need for advisors to be present giving the students much more flexibility in finding ways to keep their clubs engaged.
A common sentiment shared by Mendoza Plascencia, Lopez and Nguyen is the importance of being a present community for people to connect to despite or because of the lack of social interaction happening due to being socially distant.
“As new or as crazy as these times are right now, it is important for us to keep things as ‘normal’ as possible or find a new normal,” said Lopez. “I don’t doubt that COVID changes are going to be here for a while and we have to figure out how things are going to work out. For me, CRC was great, checking out new clubs and finding a community and I’d hate new students not having that.”
Follow the ASPA on Instagram @crc_apsa.