With Queens College opening up again, the school’s clubs are becoming hybrid, allowing for both on-campus and remote students to attend.
Clubs are excited for the chance to have in-person events once again. With some of the clubs now hybrid instead of fully online, students are given the ability to meet other like minded students and are able to create a group environment without online interference. Jillian dePasquale, Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority President, agrees, saying, “As a social organization, I think we are better suited for in-person as it is much easier to get together and host events in person.”
Nevertheless, while club leaders are excited to be in-person, putting it into action is challenging. There are many students who are remote because few classes are in-person, and because the clubs often meet during free hour, remote students usually do not have enough time to make it to an in-person event. Not only that, but if the club would like to have an in-person event on campus, the students who would like to attend must have already submitted their COVID vaccination and had their QCard linked to their vaccination status.
Also, some rooms only allow a few students in per-day. Nachum Twersky, vice president of the CAD club, said that his club would like to do 3D printing, but they are unable to do that online because not a lot of people have their own 3D printer. Instead, they would need to use the QC Makerspace. However, Twersky said that, “As of now, the makerspace is limiting the amount of people who have access to it to a handful of people per day. And we’d rather not exclude anyone who wants to come.”
Therefore, because of these restrictions, many clubs have planned accordingly and decided to remain online for the rest of the semester. Ahuva Bechhofer, the Math Club President, stated that being online is easier because to be on campus, “you have to be vaccinated or have an exemption and constantly get tested, and I’m not sure if the people that come to my club fulfill that requirement. And, I wouldn’t want students to not be able to come to the club if they are not vaccinated.”
Next semester, however, clubs are eager to have more in-person gatherings. Shabbos Kestenbaum, President of the Hillel Club, said “once 70% of classes return to in person (as expected for the spring) and students return to campus, I believe Hillel, and really all clubs, will benefit as a whole in terms of engagement, participation, and in-person activity.” Then, there might be more in-person than online club events.