Covid on Campus: The Anxiousness of Joining Clubs

Ni'yah-Marie Preacely, Opinion Editor

The Covid-19 pandemic has not only affected Suffolk County Community College classrooms but also its clubs. Despite campus being virtual for over a year, some clubs were still active. However, the pandemic has raised a lot of indecisiveness in students about joining in on-campus activities. There isn’t as much interest in student affairs anymore. 

“I’ve been a little hesitant to join clubs, I’m not sure if there are going to be other people participating,” said Eric Trommer, a 19-year-old engineering major. “I want to be able to meet new friends and the pandemic is kind of getting in the way of that,” Trommer continued. The hesitation comes from fear and anxiety mostly. Students don’t want the rug to be pulled out from under them again, like in March 2020. With the unpredictability of Covid-19 students are not sure if they will have to be virtual again.

“I don’t want to get too involved in clubs if we’re just gonna go back to being in front of computers for classes again, it seems pointless,” said Paul Gutman,19, a childhood education major. Meeting new peers through a zoom call is not an ideal situation for part of Suffolk students. “I really enjoy getting that face-to-face connection, it’s just not the same online,” Gutman added. 

Students have been deprived of social interaction for a long time, joining clubs can help them do that again. Some of Suffolks clubs tried to keep the students invested by putting clubs online. They held meetings through zoom and kept the campus updated through social media. However, some clubs didn’t run at all during the time when Suffolk was fully virtual. 

Suffolk’s clubs have had many negative impacts because of the pandemic. “Many clubs experienced loss of membership, for some it took a while for clubs to reimagine what it would be like to run a club virtually,” said Lorraine De Leon, head of campus affairs. However, despite the lack of interaction, some clubs still have been thriving. “Although the pandemic affected us in so many ways, it really helped us figure out how to continue to move forward. It added more tools to our toolbox and it demonstrated the importance of community,” De Leon added. 

Recently the campus has made progress and has opened up more because of the vaccination and booster status. More clubs should be getting more activity. Suffolk recently held a club fair where there were a lot of students who were interested in what the campus had to offer. 

“The club fair kind of opened me up to the idea of possibly joining a club. I’m somewhat hopeful for the future of Suffolk,” said Joseph Saladino,19, a cyber security major. The idea of being able to participate in in-person activities is appealing to the student population. “Making friends and making connections is one of the best aspects of college,” added Saladino.