The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the way humans live and interact with each other. The essential need for social distancing has limited the amount of people that can gather at one time, including for registered student organizations (RSOs).
With this limitation in place, Kellogg Community College students involved in RSOs have found new ways to interact with one another and increase their technology skills. The use of technology allows students to feel less isolated and allows them to stay connected to their peers.
“Student clubs have been using Teams to communicate with each other and hold meetings,” club advisor and Student Life Manager Drew Hutchinson said. “Some students really enjoy it, where others are less thrilled. I think it’s good for our students to be practicing Teams, because more and more offices are utilizing MS Teams.”
The Kampus Activity Board (KAB) is a registered student organization that meets Fridays at noon on Microsoft Teams. They are dedicated to planning events around campus for other students to participate in. Before the pandemic they put on multiple dances, a game of assassins, karaoke and open mic nights.
Nowadays, like all KCC clubs, KAB has had to rely on Microsoft Teams to host their club meetings, along with their event planning. The pandemic has cut out in-person events, but has allowed them to host new online events. The online events fill the gap of attending campus events and allow all students with internet access to participate.
“[KAB] is using Microsoft Teams like it’s Discord, and members don’t need to drive to campus to participate in meetings. Communication is strong,” Hutchinson said. “[KAB] has run some monthly games of Kahoot. They are running what are called Bruin Grams and they had an incredibly successful ugly sweater contest that was staff vs. students.”
While meeting online may not seem ideal, the experience of being involved in a club allows the member to be more connected to their campus. Even if they aren’t actually meeting on campus.
“I have always voiced that any experience you have is what you make of it. This includes a student’s involvement on campus,” Hutchinson said. “The same goes during the pandemic, but with more hurdles to jump over, like internet access. The resources and the ability to participate are still here, but I don’t think it’s the first choice of participation for most of our students.”
Technology is allowing registered student organizations to communicate and plan with their school peers in an isolating time. Although yearly events like Bruin Blast have had to be moved online, it has made these events more accessible to students with internet access. While it can be disheartening to think that events won’t be in person, it’s nice to know that the option to participate is still there.
For more information about registered student organizations at KCC, visit www.kellogg.edu/rsos.