by Joie Liu
February 22, 2021
Across the globe, the coronavirus has upheaved the lives of billions. It has torn apart families and forced many to transition to a world online. Schools and extracurriculars have had to conduct education via a digital screen. Although Boston University Academy is extremely lucky to have the opportunity to have their students be in person for their classes, it is still no exception to the larger developments, and many of its extracurriculars have been hit hard. Most notably, in order to continue meeting, many clubs have needed to use online resources, though there are still a few clubs that have managed to find new ways to meet in person.
During the coronavirus pandemic, Zoom has become one of the most powerful tools, allowing anyone to connect with others using only a computer. BUA clubs have taken advantage of Zoom and all of its features. Using Zoom, clubs have thought of creative solutions to problems, from breakout rooms to polls and even emoji reactions. In some ways, each club has had to forge its own path. Some, such as Mock Trial, Sustainability Club, and Computer Science Club, have taken routes that involve once-a-week online meetings. Others, such as Bullet Journal Club, have taken an approach with meeting times that vary. Larger clubs, such as Student Council, have also worked creatively to try to find ways to keep up with their duties. Representative Lizzie Seward ‘23 said that the climate has increased the motivation of Student Council members and that representatives are working harder this year to overcome the additional challenges and struggles that COVID-19 has brought. But although Zoom meetings are the best alternative, many still feel that they do not completely replace in-person meetings. Many students think that online communication changes the club dynamic, making it harder to connect and coordinate meetings. It is impossible to ignore these new problems.
Although the large majority of clubs have chosen to hold meetings online, some have still found ways to physically meet. Most sports have tried to resume athletics with some alterations. All have been forced to have athletes maintain a distance of six feet apart from each other, and many have had to take extra precautions to follow rules surrounding multiple people touching a single object. Although students are happy to get any chance to play the sport that they love, these adjustments have changed the very nature of many sports, leaving students feeling unsatisfied and longing for more. This in turn has led to a lessened interest in playing sports and arguably less commitment from many players. However, after a long spring and summer without sports, many are excited to have the chance to pick up their favorite sport once again.
Other clubs, such as Robotics Club and Fashion Club, have managed to find ways to continue their work in person. Taking over an empty classroom, Robotics Club has been able to meet most days to work on their creations. However, despite being able to meet in person, they have also had to face their own share of problems. Similar to sports, cancellations to competitions have lowered interest among both experienced and newer members, and because of restrictions, they have had to adapt to have only six people in a workroom at a time. Although they have had to deal with major setbacks, member Gabriel Romualdo ‘23 said that the situation has helped to “strengthen the team’s organization, communication, and productivity” and that many are “looking forward to a successful season ahead.” Fashion Club has also found creative ways to continue their work. Meeting in person in the art room to work on creations, founder Claire Hsu ‘23 says that the coronavirus hasn’t affected her club a lot. Instead, the club has found new ways to contribute to the climate, creating masks to sell and then donating the profits to charities in an effort to help others.
Whether holding meetings online or in person, clubs have adapted well to the pandemic, though the difficulties that have arisen from coronavirus restrictions must be noted. Clubs help bring the BUA community together at a time when it’s harder to come together, easier to become disconnected — that too must be noted.