In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Albion College clubs and organizations have found new ways to come together and host events while also adhering to new protocols and regulations put in place by the college.
Asian Awareness Group
Prior to the pandemic, the Asian Awareness Group (AAG) meetings were held in the Umbrella House. Today, however, no more than ten people are permitted to be in the Umbrella House at one time. Because of this, the group’s meetings are now taking place outdoors and in a physically distanced manner.
The Asian Awareness group is also working to plan fun and safe activities.
“We have done tie-dye events in the past inside the Umbrella House, and most shared a tie-dye bucket. This year, we’re doing a tie-dye event outside, and everyone will have their own separate bucket,” said AAG’s president, Lily Goldberger, a senior from Allegan, Mich. “Since we can’t get catered food, we are ordering a lot of prepackaged Asian snacks. We will be handing those out at the tie-dye event too.”
Albion’s Hillel foundation meetings are being conducted in a different fashion this semester. Hillel is the college’s on-campus Jewish organization. Rather than gather in-person, the group has opted to meet virtually.
Even so, Hillel members are still making meaningful connections with those in the nearby community.
“We have been partnering with other organizations to work together on different projects,” said Hillel vice president, Leia Serlin, a senior from West Bloomfield, Mich. “We have partnered with the business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi, to pen-pal with senior citizens in a nursing home.”
Hillel is still planning to host their annual SimCAT Torah and Chanukah events online.
Members of the Albion College P.A. Club are meeting via Google Meet. At first, the group’s executive board saw Google Meet to be a less than ideal meeting scenario. Recently, however, they have begun to see a silver lining.
“Normally, we meet in-person and in a classroom. We see each other’s faces and take pictures together. It’s just not that way anymore,” said the P.A. Club President, Sam Emerson, a junior from South Lyon, Mich,. “We’ve been using Google Meet for our meetings this semester. At first, I thought we’d hate it, but I know I can speak for our executive board when I say it’s really starting to grow on us. People can come to meetings from the comfort of their dorm. It doesn’t take long to press a link.”
The P.A. Club is also planning to feature guest speakers in their virtual meetings.
The Gerstacker Institute has been innovative in working to conduct their business as usual.
Last week, Albion hosted its annual Beyond Albion Fair. This year, the fair was completely virtual. Though it was slightly different than in past years, Gerstacker still saw the fair to be a great networking opportunity. Some members of the Gerstacker Institute found Beyond Albion to be quite beneficial.
“We still managed to meet with a number of different companies like J.P. Morgan, Chase Co., Ally Bank, and many more,” said second year member of the Gerstacker Institute, Cole Nelson, a sophomore from Saline, Mich. “I am very grateful that we were still able to network and get something out of it, even with everyone being virtual.”
Students With Power
Students With Power (SWP), has only ever met virtually. Its members seem to be making it work without person-to-person contact, but they are also anxiously awaiting a time when they can meet in-person.
“Although things are weird, there’s a certain normalcy our online meetings have, which I haven’t felt in groups that existed before the pandemic,” said SWP’s co-chair, Khaiylah Johnson Bustamente, a junior from Brooklyn, N.Y. “In an ideal world, we’d probably be having meetings in one of our rooms or in a setting that makes things feel a bit more social. We all get along very well in SWP, so I’m sure there’d be more relaxed conversation and banter. The atmosphere of online meetings creates less space for chit chat/social time.”
SWP has tabled on the quad and uses their social media platforms to spread awareness about the organization and its mission.
C.O.R.E. is making the best of the current COVID-19 regulations and protocols. The group is hosting their meetings through Google Meet. They have also asked Albion alumni to speak at their virtual meetings.
“We are planning on having alumni who are now teachers come in and speak,” said C.O.R.E.’s public relations liaison, Ian Lee, a sophomore from Marshall, Mich. “Pre-COVID, we had a lot of speakers that would come in and it was always something that members looked forward to, so we’re excited to keep that going.”
The group’s members are hoping to make their meetings this semester as close to normal as they possibly can.