As Pierce College’s club board members have worked to bring clubs to a virtual space during the pandemic, the board’s new focus is on getting students to participate.
Currently, there are two clubs being run by the Fort Steilacoom clubs board, those being the Social Service Mental Health Club and Wadaiko club, and one being run by Puyallup’s, that being Puyallup campuses Mental Health Club.
The return of clubs comes after all Pierce College operations were shut down with the closure of both campuses last March. Clubs like the Black Student Union, Mental Health Club, Hiking club and more have remained unavailable during both spring and summer quarters. This past fall, the club boards on both campuses began taking applications to recommence clubs.
“There were more colleges that were a little more prepared for transferring clubs online, but we’re more of an in-person based school where clubs are so used to meeting all the time in person, so it was hard to know what to do when faced with the challenges of going all online,” said Walter Lutsch, the student engagement specialist for Pierce College.
Throughout last spring and summer quarters, club boards on both campuses planned how they would handle club operations this year. During fall quarter, the boards began advertising on social media for students to send in an application to start a club and recruit members. There were also many emails sent to students encouraging them to start a club.
After collecting student’s club applications, the three currently avalible clubs were formed and ready to recruit members starting winter quarter.
“With everything going on this past year, we understood how many students are dealing with other important things in their lives, so just getting two to three clubs was something we counted as a major success,” said Lutsch.
To help ease the challenges of bringing back clubs in an online format, the club boards decided to use the Pierce College Club Fair to try and attract interest.
Club Fair is an event that has been around at Pierce College for years, usually referred to as Club Rush, where students can check out all available clubs with the opportunity to meet club members and leaders and ask questions. Club Fair this quarter took place over Zoom and allowed students the chance to see all of the available clubs at Pierce.
“We want to continue to show students how we care about them and we’re here to support them if they want to start or join a club while making it as easy as possible for them to do so,” says Zak Swanson, president of the associated students of Pierce College Puyallup.
Establishing more clubs at Pierce is on the club board team’s agenda moving forward. Both teams will continue to encourage students to start or join clubs, and events for clubs to participate in will be held as well.
“We would really like to see more clubs because I believe clubs can offer such a unique opportunity for students to be able to connect with other students who share their experiences and also share common interests and hobbies,” said Swanson.
For students interested in starting a club, registration information can be found on the Fort Steilacoom club resource page or the Puyallup student organization forms page. Students can also follow student life on Instagram for club updates, @puy_osl and @pcfsstudentlife.
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