Social clubs on campus will be looking to pick up where they left off last school year, while having to adhere to new guidelines.
Assistant Director for Student Engagement Danie Adams is hoping that campus life will be prolonged as a result of the implementation of these recently introduced guidelines.
“We hope that if we keep guidelines more strict than in years past, we will be helping students to stay healthy and, therefore, to stay on campus longer,” Adams said. “We are wanting students to have this fall semester in person, and we know that the only way to do this is to change up some things from the past.”
Due to stricter guidelines, social clubs have had to alter some original plans and goals entirely. For others, traditional community building under the new guidelines will be a learning process that will be worked on throughout the year.
Kaleb McClay, president of Dativus, expressed his concern for how his club’s traditions will be carried out this year.
“We are a club with very strong traditions that help to form the strong brotherhood that we are very proud of,” McClay said. “Many of these traditions are going to have to be altered or even left out due to the rules and regulations that have been given to us for recruitment.”
Natalie Watson, president of Alacritas, also shared her apprehension for what the coming year will look like for her club.
“I understand the importance of these guidelines to keep us safe, but it’s been hard realizing we can’t do a lot of recruitment ideas that we came up with and that we are unable to keep all of our traditions this year,” Watson said.
Leona president Nicole Newgent expects there to be more small group functions in place of large gatherings, to better adhere to the new rules.
“We are going to try and split people into groups so that we can still meet in person [safely],” said Newgent.
While some of the stricter regulations have caused difficulties within the clubs, a new rule that social clubs can look forward to is the ability to recruit freshmen this year.
Danie Adams explained some of the reasoning behind freshmen being able to join social clubs this year.
“We believe that having freshmen as part of the recruitment process this year will allow for a larger number of students involved and hopefully will give them something to be involved in for all four years of college,” said Adams.
Brayden Collingsworth, who is the vice president of Boosters this year, looks forward to the addition of freshmen in the recruitment process.
“As Boosters, we thrive on the idea of brotherhood,” Collingsworth said. “With the freshmen being able to recruit, the opportunity to grow our club is something we don’t take lightly.”
Just as recruitment will look different, so will the traditional events each club holds for the AU community.
Dativus members, who host the skit-comedy show Cheap Thrills, are hoping to continue to hold the popular event in person.
“We are going to push to keep it an in-person show,” McClay explained. “We think that campus needs as many events as possible to keep things semi-normal. Many ideas have been thrown around, such as additional showings to provide distance between all seats.”
What Encore, the student-led concert held by Boosters, will look like this year is still a work in-progress.
“We are working very hard to make it similar to what we have had in the past,” Collingsworth said. “There will still be Encore, but it will look a little different.”
Each club has been operating on the similar theme that things are a bit different this school year.
Kelsi Allen, who serves as the CAB and IM Student Engagement graduate assistant, shared her thoughts on the difficulties that may be found in the approaching semester.
“These new guidelines were collaborative and hard decisions that kept the safety of all participating students and campus as the ultimate goal, while still promoting a sense of community and some normalcy,” said Allen. “No one likes forced changes, but part of being a leader and a campus leader is doing what is best for your community and those you lead, even when it is hard or unknown territory.”