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Thursday, July 29, 2021

Clubs, Greek Life adapt to online alternatives during Spring Quarter’s remote instruction

Student life adjusts to functioning remotely 

This Spring Quarter is one like no other: The pandemic is affecting many aspects of university life — instruction is online and a number of students are residing in their hometowns rather than in Davis. Given these circumstances, changes have been made to keep the UC Davis community safe and healthy during this time of crisis. Extracurriculars, which are a prominent pillar in many students’ lives, have also changed course to function remotely. 

One example is Yoga Club, which brings students together who share a common love for yoga. Normally, the club would hold at least one yoga class or guided meditation per week. The club has decided to maintain the same schedule remotely with visual content, which will involve virtual yoga classes that students can watch from their own homes. 

Yoga Club is also utilizing their social media to communicate and maintain their sense of community. Their Facebook page, for example, is filled with members past and present, allowing the club to stay connected without meeting face-to-face. 

Although functioning remotely is a change from normal operations, third-year international relations major and Yoga Club Vice President Justin Singh-Courtney shed light on the peace and growth he believes can be found with such distance. 

“It gives our students and our instructors the opportunity to define themselves as individuals,” Singh-Courtney said. “Practicing in a distant community with less influence from others.”

For other clubs, like Aggie Gaming, functioning remotely isn’t much of a shift from normal protocol. Aggie Gaming brings UC Davis’ gaming community together with game nights, social events and other activities. With the exception of in-person events, the club primarily functions online, so it can easily continue to function smoothly during Spring Quarter. 

The club will operate with online game nights and meetings. To fill the void of in-person interaction, there are also plans to create online spaces where members can communicate and interact. 

Zhekun (Victor) Hu, a third-year computer science major and Aggie Gaming director of technology, remains optimistic about the club’s future and its tight-knit community.  

“We expect these changes to encourage more participation from Aggie Gaming members and help the club grow closer and become a stronger community,” Hu said. “Gaming is one of the few activities that function well in these difficult times, and as such, we hope to provide some much-needed sense of community and interaction to as many students as we can.” 

Many UC Davis students are members of sororities and fraternities, which is another part of student life subject to changes this quarter. Tri Delta, a Panhellenic sorority at UC Davis, will omit in-person events and adjust to functioning online, a particularly big hit because of the regular plethora of in-person social events. Tri Delta has instituted virtual meetings to discuss important chapter business and stay up to date on information. The sorority is also planning on having some of their usual activities online, such as movie nights, workouts and painting nights.

 In terms of keeping communication strong, the chapter is taking advantage of social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook to keep members connected and engaged. Jenna Koermer (’20), a fourth-year aerospace science and engineering major and chapter president, describes one social media ritual that brings the girls together. 

“Every Monday night, we do a special shoutout to one of our sisters and all other members comment ‘why we love…’ and it is a great positive reminder about what makes our sisterhood so unique and the impact we make on one another,” Koermer said. 

Despite the obstacles of functioning remotely, Koermer said the chapter is committed to staying strong by maintaining connections and supporting each other as a sisterhood. 
“Our goals for this quarter are to keep morale high during this very challenging time and to be a valuable resource for any of our members who need us even more now,” Koermer said. “Our executive board officers truly want to keep our girls virtually engaged and active as much as possible to keep the spirit of our chapter alive.”

Written by: Nora Farahdel — features@theaggie.org

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