In the midst of the uncertainty and change surrounding COVID-19, many of Marymount’s clubs and organizations have had to make drastic changes in order to adapt as online learning has taken the place of physically attending campus. The Monitor, for example, is still functioning remotely with Zoom meetings and digital content publication. However, there are certain organizations that rely very much on physical activity and gatherings such as music and dance groups, Campus Activities Board, and Marymount Community Outreach. So, how are group members making things work and continuing their activities and meetings while students are scattered about the globe at their respective homes?
Unfortunately for one of our two dance teams, the Marymount Missiles, their very first year in action has been cut short. They were prepared to rehearse and eventually compete in a local college dance team competition, but are now no longer able to do so, so the only thing they can do is plan and hope for regular activity to resume in the Fall of 2020 so they can pick up where they left off. MMC Community Outreach mostly partakes in direct service throughout the community, so they have not been able to operate normally. They are, however, engaging with other students and social media users through Instagram, where they continue to promote the importance of giving back and motivate their peers. Through digital platforms, the club is also sharing information in regards to where people can donate food and other necessities as the pandemic has increased the demand for essential products.
The MMC chapter of the online publication Her Campus is also unable to meet in person, and due to the stress and extenuating circumstances that many students are currently facing, the group has ended the usual requirement of each member to contribute two articles per month. However, for many students, writing and working on articles can be quite cathartic, so the correspondents have extended the offer to group members to continue to have their pieces published when and if they so choose.
CAB typically organizes and runs the events and activities that take place at MMC, including the beloved Apple Fest in the Fall and Strawberry Fest in the Spring. While they are no longer able to plan and execute events for the remainder of this semester, they are hopeful and looking to the future. Through Zoom, the group continues to hold optional meetings that last for about an hour, and members can discuss anything from how they are feeling and how they are passing the time while social distancing, to possible events for the coming semesters. The fact that CAB has continued to hold virtual meetings has provided a sense of familiarity as well as an outlet for many of the members as the meetings are a space to relax, chat, and check in on one another.
Also, elections have been held virtually for the group’s new executive board, so current board members have passed their responsibilities to the new officers, helping them to be as prepared as possible when normalcy resumes. The team has been allowing themselves this time to regroup from the whirlwind of this semester, especially since, much like other clubs, the majority of their programming was canceled. They have also remained very active on social media, posting quizzes and allowing certain group members to do takeovers on their Instagram account! A situation as rare and unexpected as this has posed a definite challenge for faculty, staff, and students alike. Everyone is doing their best to simply get through the current chaos with the health and safety of themselves and their loved ones intact, and trying to adapt as best as possible to a kind of “new normal.”
At Marymount, there is essentially something for everyone due to the number and variety of clubs and organizations available, so for these groups to no longer be able to meet in person, and for some organizations not to be able to function at all, is not an easy new norm to adjust to. While nothing about the impact of COVID-19 on MMC and the world as a whole is even slightly ideal, the members of our community are truly doing their best to remain active and in touch, whether that be through Zoom meetings, email, or live streams on Instagram. And, in typical MMC fashion, when we (hopefully) revert back to some sort of normal activity, our many student organizations will pick back up and continue to serve a purpose, make an impact, and allow students to explore their passions and be active, engaged members of the Marymount community.