This week marks the beginning of recruitment for all of the social clubs on campus. The social clubs recognize that there may be some challenges and uncertainty given the COVID-19 environment, but all the clubs are still committed to giving their members the best experience possible.
Camarada President Samantha Aikin and Vice President Ashlee Yackley explained why this year is so important for their club even with all the uncertainty.
“This year we are so excited to meet all of the new girls, especially because freshmen can also join this year,” said Aikin and Yackley. “We are ready to meet everyone and welcome each and every one of them to our family.”
Freshmen being able to join social clubs is a big change at AU this year, but the social clubs are in agreement that this is a positive change and will help freshmen find their place on campus. Alacritas President Natalie Watson explained that she believes that this rule-change is important.
“I didn’t join Alacritas until my junior year, but I wish I would’ve started earlier to have more time with the club,” said Watson. “I think this change will also help freshmen find a place to belong on campus and have a group of people to support them.”
Although allowing freshmen to join social clubs is an exciting rule change, this recruitment season will not be without its challenges. COVID-19 guidelines have significantly affected both how clubs conduct their recruitment week and how they will go about planning and participating in their events for the rest of the year.
Jacob Willard, vice president of Dativus, recognized that this will not be a traditional year for clubs and additional restrictions may make recruitment more difficult than it has been in past years.
“The biggest challenge is the fact that we have one less day of recruitment this year,” said Willard. “So, not only do we have to revise our traditions and activities, but we also need to move certain things around so that everything we do every year for recruitment can be completed in the time period we have.”
Even though the COVID-19 rules complicate the planning process for every social club and require a lot of thought and effort, Aikin and Yackley know that remembering to adhere to the new guidelines during the social gatherings can be difficult as well.
“We think as a whole, some of the biggest challenges will include keeping the new COVID-19 guidelines at the forefront of our minds during each activity. It’s so hard for us to not run up and hug each one of our recruits,” they said. “We are so incredibly fortunate to still have recruitment, and I think that’ll be such an exciting journey. We are looking forward to the challenge!”
All the different guidelines and rules may seem cumbersome or hard to follow at times, but the club leaders are convinced that they can still offer an engaging and worthwhile experience this year. Watson knows that even though the circumstances may be different, the goal of Alacritas remains the same.
“We want to be a chill, fun and supportive group that adds joy to your college experience, rather than add another thing to stress about,” said Watson. “Being in Alacritas is just being in a group with a bunch of friends that want to help you achieve all of your goals and have the best experience at AU.”
Although each club has had to make changes this year, this does not mean that they have lost what makes their respective club unique. Willard emphasized that Dativus has been able to keep many of their recruiting traditions.
“Dativus is different from other clubs because of the deep-rooted tradition that we have as a club,” said Willard. “In regards to the recruitment process, we still do many of the things that were done when our club was first founded.”
Vice President of Avanti Boosters Brayden Collingsworth knows that every social club on campus has its own personality, traditions and values, and that his club is no different; they can still foster community on campus during these difficult times.
“One of the things we value in Boosters is brotherhood,” said Collingsworth. “Even with everything going on, we still get to fulfill this with masks and social distancing.”
Photo by Nouhad Melki