In-person club events and activities return this fall

0

Many clubs have seen strong attendance from the Classes of 2024 and 2025.

by Ellie Anderson | 09/30/21 05:05

After more than a year and a half of COVID-19 social guidelines, students have returned to in-person club meetings and programming. Many have expressed enthusiasm for attending social events, but some club leaders have raised concerns about COVID-19 guidelines.

Across campus, many students were excited about the prospect of returning to in-person club events this school year. Jessica Chiriboga ’24, a student leader who leads local trips to the Dartmouth Outing Club, said she was excited to meet in person for DOC meetings, noting she’s seen increased attendance from the Class of 2024 compared to last year.

“Some ’24s jumped at the chance to get involved with clubs even though they were mostly through a Zoom format, while some ’24s decided ‘I’ll wait until next year,'” said Chiriboga. “So I think there are a lot more 24-year-olds now getting involved with new clubs.”

Chiriboga added that the increase in socializing has allowed students to make friends in person, as opposed to Zoom meetings.

“In person [meetings] …facilitate so much more social interaction outside of official meeting time than I think [are] really important to our mental health and overall social well-being,” she said.

Although social spaces are mostly open, some COVID-19 related restrictions, such as indoor masking, are still in effect on campus. Dartmouth Political Union President William Reicher ’22 said that during the sophomore summer, the restrictions have been loosened to the point that it felt like “the pandemic was over.” However, he said the current restrictions have not hampered club meetings, noting that wearing a mask does not affect their discussions.

On the other hand, Cabin and Trail President Maya Khanna ’22 said students’ comfort level with masks was a concern for in-person meetings.

“I think some people are frustrated that we’re mandating masking in our meetings because I think not all spaces on campus do that,” she said. “But because we’re such a large group and meet in fairly tight indoor spaces, we try to follow those guidelines and keep everyone safe and comfortable.”

She added that some students still feel uncomfortable attending meetings, even while wearing masks, due to COVID-19 transmission concerns.

Club sports have also seen an easing of COVID-19 restrictions on practices. Dartmouth women’s volleyball team co-captain Sara Lockwood ’22 said the team was “so happy” to have the opportunity to return to the court. According to Lockwood, training restrictions last year included limiting the number of people on the pitch to ten people and ensuring players were masked and socially distanced. This term, Lockwood said, the only requirement during practices is the mandatory use of masks.

Two weeks ago, the Collis Student Engagement Fair took place in person for the first time since the pandemic began, with nearly 200 tables across the green, each for a different student group .

Reicher said the DPU has had so much interest from members of the Class of 2025 that the club held its biggest meeting since the club’s inception last week. Similarly, Lockwood said about 40 girls attended the volleyball club’s open gymnasiums ahead of tryouts, unlike the limited availability the team had for spots last spring due to team size limitations. coaching. Although Khanna said the size of meetings hasn’t changed drastically from previous years, she has seen an increase in registrations for trips on Trailhead, the DOC’s online trip registration system.

Spencer Mancuso ’25 said he’s found attending meetings to be a helpful way to find mentors for the upper classes and new social spaces. He noted that he appreciated “the energy displayed by the upper classes”, adding that their enthusiasm at the club fair had led him to join clubs he had not initially considered joining.

Mancuso noted that balancing his priorities has been difficult for him this year.

“In high school, my interests could fit into my schedule, and in college, my interests couldn’t fit into my schedule,” he said. “There’s a lot of overlap with club schedules, and then usually there just isn’t enough time in the day to do everything you want. At the same time, it makes me more intentional with my time.

Maya Khanna and Jessica Chiriboga are former staff members of The Dartmouth.

Share.

Comments are closed.