DECA members from the 2019-2020 school year meet for their annual group photo. Photo Courtesy of Parkview DECA’s Instagram.

Following the start of the new school year, many Parkview clubs have begun the process of implementing changes and adaptations to COVID19. With consideration for student health and safety, most Parkview clubs have planned for a digital year.

When COVID19 struck last year, student organizations and clubs were thrown into disarray. During those unprecedented times, these clubs had to end the year early, as there wasn’t an alternate plan on carrying out club functions digitally. However, over the summer, many clubs have started to reinvent their lesson plans and volunteer opportunities. 

Anticipating that most students would remain digital rather than attend in-person, clubs such as Medical United (MU), DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America), Philosophy club, and SAVE SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) have already scheduled Zoom sessions for all participating members. For the time being, all of the meetings will be held online. However, once all students who have chosen in-person have returned to school, in-person meetings will be held as well. Mrs. Katie Mehlhorn, the advisor for Medical United, says, “I want to create relationships and get to know my club members and that interaction is easiest to cultivate in person.” 

In addition to changing the format of group meetings, clubs also have to change the format of volunteer opportunities so that digital students can still obtain their honor cords through earning club points as well as earning their volunteer hours. Finding digital opportunities is a difficult task, but advisors and officers of every club are dedicated to working with club members to provide these opportunities. Clubs such as MU and DECA have also reached out to different business sponsors to obtain service opportunities. 

While multiple clubs have obtained some sense of normalcy amidst the pandemic, there are still many prevalent challenges. SAVE SADD officer Lily Darr says, “We have smaller numbers this year largely due to less ability to advertise… So far we’ve faced problems letting people know we are still doing things this year.” During a typical school year, clubs advertise by hanging posters around the school, but with the new digital format, this method became unfeasible. This is why many clubs have begun relying on social media apps such as Instagram in order to get the word out about upcoming meetings. In addition to social media, clubs also use the Remind app as a way to remind students about meetings and events. Furthermore, Medical United and Parkview Philosophy Club have utilized the “Counseling” and “Media Center” sections of Eclass as a way to promote club activities. 

Looking to the future, these clubs all want to continue to provide opportunities for students even with the restrictions they now face. DECA plans to continue their yearly competitions, and have already provided members with the information needed to compete. The only difference this year is that DECA competitions will be held online. Sophomore Zihan Zhao says, “I feel as if club activities are still the same but competitions are different because they’re all in an online format rather than in-person.” 

SAVE SADD officers also wish to continue to conduct Red Ribbon Week, which is a yearly SAVE SADD event. Finally, Medical United hopes to establish good relationships with local hospitals and have a successful start to their first year as a Parkview club.

Despite all the hardships that have been thrown their way, club advisors, sponsors, and members are all working together to overcome the problems that stand in their path. 

A note of disclosure: this reporter is a member of Medical United and an officer of Parkview Philosophy Club.