Student engagement doesn't stop during COVID-19
Fall semester activities adapt to changes on campus
By Kyle Edmond
The Fall 2020 semester has been like no other. Classes and campus life are much different due to the challenges presented by COVID-19. But Bowling Green State University’s student organizations have adapted to, and gotten creative with, what has become the new normal.
New guidelines are in place to help leaders of student organizations to keep members involved and engaged with their programming. Griffin Olah, president of Sport Management Alliance (SMA), is adjusting to the guidelines while trying to recruit new members.
“SMA has gone through a lot of changes this semester because of COVID-19,” said Olah. “We’re moving from in-person meetings to Zoom meetings, and are excited to get started in October.”
One of the biggest recruiting events of the fall semester is Campus Fest. This year, the event was held virtually. SMA, along with other student organizations, used this opportunity to reach new students by creating a video that is now being featured on a YouTube playlist. They also held signups online for anyone interested in joining their organization.
Other organizations, as well as student-athletes who focus on serving the public good, have also had to re-adjust how to volunteer their time. Taylor Haberland, who is a defensive specialist for the BGSU volleyball team and secretary of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), has found creative ways to still be involved.
“SAAC has embraced this time to make sure that we are supporting each other as student-athletes and to step up in talking about important topics going on in the world right now,” said Haberland. “We are always trying to find ways to get involved with the community and make an impact.”
Fall is also a time when sporting events such as football and soccer rely heavily on fans. With fall sports currently being postponed, marketing and fan engagement through the athletics office is doing its part in making sure students stay involved while also having some fun.
“Putting on pop-up events all over campus has been a fun way to keep the students engaged and to give them free stuff,” said Taylor Jefferson, assistant athletic director for marketing and fan engagement. “We plan on hosting events throughout the semester.”
These events include fun games such as Spin the Wheel, Putt Putt and Ax Throwing. Students can win items such as hand sanitizer and BGSU-themed multi-purpose bandanas.
“Campus is surely different this year, but we want to ensure that students are having a great time while at BGSU,” said Jefferson.