A New Landscape for Student Clubs

As Hamline transitions to a hybrid campus, student organizations have had to get creative to keep members involved.

Sol Doyscher, Senior Reporter

Since college has been back in session, students have had to adapt to a new climate academically, socially, and recreationally. Student organizations are considered a large part of the Hamline ecosystem. Third-year student and senior member of the Hamline Dance Bootcamp Reen Reinhardt speaks about how the organization has been adjusting to a new campus experience. 

“It’s pretty hard on people who have used the team as their dancing outlet. But, as far as recruitment goes that’s also super difficult, and another factor as to why we tried to change things this semester. I know some other clubs have put things on hold altogether,” Reinhardt said. “Right now we would be doing football games, but football isn’t happening right now. Same with regular school events like the late night study breakfast, but most of those have been cancelled or will be cancelled.”

With professors, student organizations and residential life all making use of Zoom for virtual events in place of in-person, Reinhardt sees this as an opportunity for those more shy of contact. 

“Hopefully we’ll be able to do some virtual dance clinics over Zoom. People can pop into them at a specific time of the week and do it on their own if they want to. They don’t even have to have their cameras on if they don’t want to. Like, some are worried and say that ‘I don’t want to dance in front of people,’ and I just keep saying ‘this is the perfect semester for you then! It’s all remote,” Reinhardt said.

Sophomores and members of the Hamline Indigineous Peoples Society (HIPS) Emily McKenzie, Myrka Zambrano and Jose Meza-Ortiz talked about the various challenges students organizations are facing on multiple fronts.

“I think that membership is pretty much the struggle for all student orgs right now since we’re online and still trying to get people involved. I think that people are doing such a great job communicating over social media and getting the word out about each others’ groups which is really nice to support each other and let everyone know what’s happening,” Zambrano said.

The HIPS members stressed the importance of unity among organizations and how collaboration could benefit everyone.

“We’re planning to do bi-weekly meetings for most of our HIPS meetings and we’re also planning to do collabs with other groups,” Meza-Ortiz said.

“At the org fair I talked to pretty much every group and mentioned that if they wanted to collaborate we’d be down,” McKenzie said.

While student organizations have had to quickly shift gears to a changing campus, there are also unsuspected positives. 

“I would also say that one plus side of this is that for people who have a tight schedule, like it’s hard to go back and forth between classes, or commuting, it’s a lot easier for them to have access to attend. I know that a lot of people, including myself, have a lot of trouble attending convo hours so that’s a nice plus side,”McKenzie said.

Despite challenging circumstances, student organizations are doing all that they can to adapt and keep this vital part of Hamline’s ecosystem thriving.