COVID-19: Campus Clubs Face Enrollment Crisis

Campus clubs around Radford University are facing difficulty recruiting new members and holding meetings due to social distancing procedures.

Computer and cup of coffee

Photo Credit: (Chris Montgomery) Zoom call with coffee.

By: Isabella Dominesey| Idominesey@radford.edu

Radford University’s COVID-19 procedures and social gathering limits have impacted students all around campus, especially those involved in campus-oriented clubs.

With Radford’s policy of reviewing social gatherings greater than ten people, clubs are struggling to hold in-person meetings for their members. While some continue to hold meetings in-person with distance, many are only meeting through Zoom.

[epq-quote align=”align-left”]Since the start of the semester, many clubs have seen a decrease in members than in previous academic years.[/epq-quote]

However, these online meetings are creating a new set of challenges for clubs.

Since the start of the semester, many clubs have seen a decrease in members than in previous academic years.

Sophomore Sapphire Simpson, a member of Radford’s Marketing Club, believes Zoom is the cause for most club’s lack of new members.

“Usually, we do social events to gain new members,” Simpson said. “But since we can only meet online, I think many people don’t feel that it’s worth it.”

The Marketing Club, which previously met about twice a month during previous semesters, hasn’t held a meeting since the new school year.

“Occasionally, we’ll all send out emails to make sure everyone is doing alright, but we haven’t seen each other in a while,” Simpson said.

Even members of clubs that are still holding weekly meetings dislike the Zoom situation.

Surgical masks
Photo Credit: (Noah) A surgical mask, or procedure mask, is intended to be worn by health professionals during surgery and certain health care procedures.

Sophomore Christe Williams, a member of Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU), attends weekly meetings on Zoom. The club has maintained a set Zoom schedule since the beginning of the semester, in which they broadcast a church service.

Yet, Williams misses the in-person factor of the meetings.

“It’s just not the same,” Williams said. “I haven’t been to actual church in a while, and since they prerecord the services, it doesn’t feel as real.”

While most clubs, like CRU, meet exclusively online, some get to have in-person meetings.

Radlax, Radford women’s club lacrosse, has held in-person practices since the start of the semester. According to Radford Sports Club Council, clubs are allowed to do so only if the athletes wear masks while not in motion.

[epq-quote align=”align-right”]“It’s just not the same,” Williams said. “I haven’t been to actual church in a while, and since they prerecord the services, it doesn’t feel as real.”[/epq-quote]

According to Angelina Giuffre, President of Radlax, wearing a mask while running around is worth it if it means getting out on the field.

“We do a lot more passing and running this semester for sure,” Giuffre said. “We aren’t allowed to do scrimmaging because of close contact and everything, but I’m still glad to practice.”

Due to the difficulties faced while practicing with masks, Giuffre also said that participation among all club sports had decreased heavily.

As the semester progresses, clubs will have to continue following Radford’s social distancing procedures until told otherwise.

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