PHOTO BY SARA SHEIKH, THE SPUTNIK PHOTOGRAPHY
Getting involved in extracurricular organizations and attending events is widely regarded as one of the best ways to meet other people at university.
In the absence of in person gatherings, clubs at Laurier Brantford have had to adapt to the new online landscape in order to still provide social activities.
Seeing as a large portion of the average student’s screen time is now devoted to online classes, it is important to learn how to separate school time from social time and take a break when needed.
During a normal year clubs host a variety of diverse events for students to attend each week. They would range from movie nights, trivia, bingo, and a multitude of others, often with snacks involved.
Many events were also hosted with the goal in mind of being a pleasant break for students to get their minds off of schoolwork, hang out with friends, meet new people, or just have fun.
This year, clubs are still trying to achieve these goals, but are being forced to get more creative as to how they will do that.
“It’s gonna be very difficult to get students to come to another thing that’s on the computer,” said Hailey Richardson, peer connect coordinator for the Brantford Campus.
In previous years, time to hang out with and see friends, participate in a fun activity, and possibly enjoy some food were enough to entice many students out to events. However, that is much more difficult this year due to the current global situation.
“Nobody’s gonna want to go to two events that are online on the same day,” said Richardson.
This means a large amount of planning is going into coordinating with other clubs as to what events are being run and when, similar to previous years where occasionally clubs would team up with each other to run joint events.
Such events bring together the strengths of different clubs in order to involve a variety of students with many different interests. Richardson said Peer Connect is adapting to these circumstances, saying that they still plan on hosting events where students can prioritize their mental health—something that is all the more important when everyone is social distancing.
Some events can be transferred into an online format such as movie nights, but others need to be reinvented completely. In order to change events into an online format, most events will be held live over platforms such as Zoom or Twitch.
This means that in order to attend a fun event with your friends, you can do so from the comfort of your own home. Joining clubs and attending events this year has never been easier due to the access that an online landscape provides.
“I think that people are willing to adapt,” said Iona MacMahon, president of the English Student’s Association.
Macmahon notes that the changes this year allow for the association to potentially hold joint events not only with other groups at Laurier Brantford, but at Laurier Waterloo as well.
“We are very excited to explore this new online terrain… we encourage people to join us along the way,” she said.
In regards to recruitment, many clubs had difficulty finding volunteers at the beginning of the school year, and are being forced to maximize their time and efforts on making the most positive impact possible on students. Despite this, many clubs are confident that they can adapt to these changes and run fun, relaxing activities for students to partake in.
“I think the best tool is social media,” said MacMahon when asked about how the English Students Association is planning on getting the word out about events.
In the current circumstances, that may be the best way for many clubs and associations.
To find out more about how to get involved and when events are being run, be sure to follow Laurier Brantford’s various clubs and associations, as well as the Student’s Union on social media.