Student organizations move forward virtually

Photo courtesy:

Hannah Mirsky

Student organizations have had to become creative with communication since Quinnipiac announced that classes will be held online for the rest of the semester. Clubs have been slowly reinstituting focus on how they can move forward and be most effective for the remainder of the semester.

“We have some groups that are up and running, hosting virtual meetings and planning virtual events and trying to move forward business as usual,” said Erin Provistalis, director of campus life for student careers in student involvement.

The Student Government Association held a virtual town hall, looking for students to voice their concerns about the adjustment to online courses and ask questions about the rest of the semester.

“We are thinking about how we can advocate for students still because at the end of the day, our main job is advocacy,” SGA President Austin Calvo said. “We’re trying to figure out different avenues we can employ to still get students thoughts, inputs, and concerns, so we can reflect this administration.”

SGA is also looking at ways to remind students at home to vote for the upcoming election. SGA will still hold executive board elections for the 2020-2021 school year this semester but will hold off on general board elections until the fall semester.

It will be different from previous elections where the running candidates would campaign with posters and go around to residence halls, knocking on doors to make their names known.

“Our biggest concern in terms of that is making sure that students are actually voting because it’s a big election for executive board,” SGA Vice President Sophia Marshall said.

SGA will continue to meet every Wednesday at 4 p.m. for weekly general board meetings.

“Our biggest focus right now is just trying to maintain productivity and serve the student body to the best of our ability and the way that they deserve to be served,” Marshall said.

The Panhellenic and Interfraternity councils are holding bi-weekly meetings to collect reports from chapters. They are also holding office hours on Zoom for members of the greek community to voice their concerns and ask questions.

The Panhellenic community is upping their presence on social media. A private Facebook group was made for all members to help maintain and build relationships among the sisters, as well as update sisters on upcoming events.

“The Panhellenic Council has also made an exciting TikTok challenge for all women in our community to participate in,” Panhellenic President and Delta Delta Delta founding sister Olivia Desjarlais said.

Fraternities are also using Instagram and TikTok to participate in challenges and tag their brothers to keep their brotherhoods alive while they are away from campus.

“We’ve been working tirelessly to keep communication channels open, and keeping the community engaged through both fun and informative social media events, of which we have dozens more planned,” Interfraternity Council President Michael Szwaja said.

The biggest event for greek life at Quinnipiac, Greek Week, is going to be held virtually starting on Monday, April 13.

“This is one of the biggest events for the fraternity and sorority community in the spring and we wanted to make sure that it still happens and our members get to enjoy something they always look forward to,” Desjarlais said.

Other student organizations are still meeting, holding events and making suggestions to help their community during this time.

The Student Programming Board has been posting polls to its Instagram story asking questions about students’ time in quarantine and what they are doing to make it more fun. Comments will be uploaded to the Instagram story to connect students and see what everyone is up to. There are also trivia nights on Tuesdays held on Zoom in place of what would have been Trivia on the Hill, in the new pub, On the Rocks, in the Rocky Top Student Center.

“Right now, we’re working on expanding our ability to engage directly with students through Instagram Live, IGTV and Zoom through some ideas such as crafting, baking, and tutorials,” Student Programming Board President Joshua Sprague Oliveira said.

Big Event had to cancel its large community service event that was planned since September but are giving volunteer ideas to participate in at home following CDC guidelines. Some of the volunteer ideas include, picking up trash while walking, donating blood, writing “thank you” letters to healthcare workers or donating food to local shelters. All ideas can be found on the Big Event’s Instagram, @quinnipiacbigevent.

Any student organizations that are facing troubles with communicating online or coming up with ways to move forward can seek help from Provistalis.

“I want the groups to know that we’re here for them, and we want to support them, and we’re happy to give guidance, direction or just a place for them to vent their frustrations,” Provistalis said. “If they need something they just have to ask, and we’ll do our best.”