Clubs in quarantine

Jones clubs make best of bad situation, offer insight for new clubs


Adrian Zamudio '21

Students try to effectively complete tasks while being restricted to a digital format.

Many clubs at Jones realized that their events and activities were to be canceled since COVID-19 disrupted in-person learning. Many students were worried about how to restructure their clubs to match an online format.

After a canceled multicultural mixer, an event involving all cultural clubs at Jones, Sam Cabrales ‘21 and his club, Minority Leaders of Impact, began meeting during the quarantine. They continued to use the same meeting day as if the students were still in school in order to promote consistency.

“All we really had to do to make it more convenient for everyone was to have it a bit earlier in the day and on a different day of the week, and we kept that going from March through September,” said Cabrales. 

Both Cabrales and R’riyon Draine ‘21 of Black Student Union (BSU) believe their clubs efficiently worked towards their goals although they were not in person. “BSU still has a presence in the Jones Community, even though we are at home,” said Draine.

For other clubs, goals were harder to reach without a classroom. 

“We wanted to teach each other Korean” said Hailey Buss ‘21 from Korean Language and Cultural Club.“We talked about our experiences being Korean and going to Korea as people who have lived in America our whole lives.” 

 BSU and MLI’s board members have had busy schedules throughout the quarantine and have no plans to slow down now that school is back. However, without school to promote active membership these clubs have had a decrease in attendance. 

“Going from school to quarantine we did see a significant dip in our meeting attendance, but like anything else it’s expected that people may not be able to do as much with their time during quarantine” said Cabrales. 

Nevertheless, MLI continued to get work done by keeping their consistency over the break.

 “Our board members were the main ones that were consistently coming to meetings, in addition to a few general members” said Cabrales. 

As more clubs begin meeting virtually more club leaders are left feeling lost. 

“Our club is still navigating the virtual world,”  said Draine. “We are still learning and coming up with new ideas of how to make engaging and fun events.”

After experimenting during the majority of quarantine, these club leaders have some tips for any clubs who are looking to meet virtually during this school year.

 “Discussions are always interesting for large groups of people,” said Buss. 

Buss has recommended a group chat to her club. All clubs recommended having an established schedule, meeting day, and time. 

MLI and BSU create agendas to keep their meeting organized and efficient. BSU relatively once a week during the first set of Stay-At-Home orders in the Spring. 

Draine said many members may be experiencing mental health issues and similar problems evoked by the pandemic. She suggests to be empathetic and flexible with club members.

“Patience will be your greatest tool for having your club function in these conditions,” said Draine.

Cabrales addressed the awkward nature of meeting online. He had solutions to feeling uneasy during online meetings.

“[I’m trying] to have fun with it and others will match your energy as time goes on… Once you break out of the stiffness that comes with reading off an agenda while sitting in front of a screen, meetings will have a much better flow,” he said. “At the end of the day people come to meetings because they believe in your cause, so it’s our jobs as club leaders to create a positive space they’ll want to keep coming back to.”