Rebooting Clubs

An exploration of how clubs and their members are adjusting to remote learning.


(Left to right) Cameron Ernst, Luke Chen, Hugo Yu, Maya Haug. Science Olympiad members bond face-to-face at the spring 2020 Regional Competition on February 29.

While North Time is merely a forgotten slot in BVN’s schedule for an hour-long lunch, the clubs and organizations that met during it are continuing to thrive after their cut from the bell schedule. Groups including Science Olympiad, Project READ, and Antisemitism Education club are meeting online, with computer software a safer alternative to a face-to-face format. 

“We are only connecting through Zoom and Groupme right now because I think that’s the safest option at this point,” senior Zoe Sher, leader of the Antisemitism Education club, said.

Though there aren’t snacks passed out or flyers shared as originally planned, members still appreciate the opportunity to link up and learn together.

“Being part of a club right now is an amazing thing because it can give someone a sense of purpose,” Sher said, “in a time where it feels like everything is out of control,”

For a club whose main purpose is education and spreading a message, a virtual meeting might not be too different from an in-person one, but others have had to become much more creative in their format shift. For Science Olympiad leader senior Hugo Yu, switching to online-only means relearning everything he knows about competitions. 

“Most of the major objectives of in-person meetings can be covered by zooms, so there isn’t too much of a loss, however, online competitions involve having cameras on minors which is legally debated,” Yu said. “We don’t really know yet,”

Despite this uncertainty and the disclaimer of “as far as we know” in every zoom meeting, Yu is optimistic that club members appreciate the effort. 

“I do hope our work is appreciated,” Yu said. “It makes me happy to see people who are still dedicated to putting the work in even while the future is uncertain.”

Project READ, a club providing homework help to inner-city children, continues to serve the community. Although they can still offer tutoring services via Zoom and keep the club running, it comes with the cost of emotional connection, which is what many members, including club leader junior Roda Ahmed, valued most. 

“I miss hugging them every time I saw them the most,” Ahmed said. “They truly are awesome kids! I also miss jamming on the bus on our way to and back from the school, it really bonded us.”

In an effort to reach freshmen, the club has been reaching out via the Project R.E.A.D. Instagram account, @projectr.e.a.d, to recruit new members. 

“We’ve had many members who thought that Project R.E.A.D. wasn’t going to happen this year but were ecstatic to hear it was,”Ahmed said.

Social distancing may have made participating in clubs a lot less social and a lot more distant, but that hasn’t stopped students from making the most of their situations.