Student organizations work to adjust to digital-only operations
For many student organizations, the transition to online classes for at least the rest of the semester has left groups to navigate how to move forward throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Mathematical biology junior Jasmine Khademakbari will begin her term as Student Government Association president on Wednesday. Her administration’s first Senate meeting will be on open Zoom meeting accessible to students.
Despite the unordinary circumstances, Khademakbari believes her administration will be able to adjust to the digital meetings smoothly.
“I feel like having our SGA meetings still be regular and still be very active will give people a sense of normalcy, which I feel like is very important right now,” Khademakbari said.
While in-person classes have been suspended for the remainder of the semester and residents are being asked to leave residence halls if they can, Khademakbari stressed that SGA needs to continue to support students and their needs.
“We still need to remain an active SGA so people can still continue to advocate for students, even while they’re quarantined,” Khademakbari said.
SGA plans to start assessing students’ needs to see how they are doing and what can be done to help. To gauge this information, SGA plans on sending out a student survey.
During a time of alternative classes and a stay-at-home order, Khademakbari said students have the opportunity to become more connected and bond over a shared difficulty.
“If anything this has made everyone be a little more connected, so there is a silver lining to this situation,” Khademakbari said. “Everybody is going through a difficult time. You have something to relate to with everybody. It’s kinda bringing everybody in student government a little closer together.”
The Activities Funding Board plans to continue working remotely while the University is running on limited operations. AFB is a student organization that runs as an agency of the Student Fees Advisory Committee, allocating funds to registered student organizations.
“We are currently working through reimbursements for organization events prior to spring break, as well as completing projects to ensure the next AFB board is set up for a successful year,” said AFB chair Christopher Caldwell.
The University has canceled all events through the end of April, stopping AFB from funding other student organizations from hosting events.
“AFB is not currently accepting funding requests due to the University’s cancellation of events through April,” Caldwell said. “Once the University resumes sponsored events, we will continue to review funding requests as normal.”
AFB is not certain of how the coronavirus and its aftermath will impact them and funding for student organizations.
“We are unsure of the long-term effects that the pandemic will have on AFB, but we are doing our part in ensuring organizations are supported and have the resources needed to be successful during this time,” Caldwell said.
As one of over 500 registered student organizations at the University, the American Marketing Association has also had its upcoming events and meetings affected by the coronavirus.
“As of right now, AMA has canceled all their planned events including socials, meetings, and the end of year banquet,” said marketing freshmen Alina Malik.
For students involved in RSOs, not executing their previously planned events can be disappointing, having to wait until at least next semester to begin hosting gatherings.
“Honestly it was upsetting that events had to get canceled, especially since I work as the public relations intern for AMA and all the events we planned had to get canceled,” Malik said. “But I completely understand the reasoning behind decisions made. I can’t wait for next semester to experience all the exciting events.”