The Future of Virtual Clubs

Written by: Jaeho

Edited by: Keitaro 

Visual by: Johanna

Virtual learning has affected many aspects of ISM’s curriculum, including a variety of clubs. As it seems ISM will continue on with virtual learning for the foreseeable future, a few clubs were asked about how they will adapt to this shift to a virtual medium. 

The Fine Arts Council is usually centered around school concerts and plays, but this year will be very different. When asked about the changes, one of the head ushers/photographers, Chayse, explained the club’s challenges for the coming months. “A lot of the club members like ushers and photographers are unable to do a lot of their jobs because their main job is to bring people around and take photos of the event but those events aren’t happening.” She further explained that this year, they are trying their hardest to get everyone to be active in the club and get to know each other better. 

While virtual events are arguably harder to pull off, the Visual Arts Club’s secretary, Eugene, has a rather positive outlook for this year. She articulated, “(being online) motivates us to brainstorm about ways we can make up for the lost events as a club and lots more people actually join meetings now compared to previous years because it’s held online.” Regardless of the online shift, it seems that VAC has a bright year in store for them. 

Similarly to other clubs, the Korean Cultural Club had difficulties with the transition as it resulted in the cancellation of their famed bake sales. Sally, the co-president of the club, said that, “the bakesale is the most popular event of KCC and also a fundraising event but we can’t do it anymore.” Furthermore, the cancellation of their bonding dinners was also a big disappointment as she mentioned, “it was a good way to meet new people from different batches but there’s no way to physically interact with people.” KCC primarily focuses on bonding and meeting new people that share the same culture, so the online system poses a great obstacle for them. A possible solution was to have virtual bonding sessions, but Sally was skeptical of this as, “the only thing we can do is to play games.”

Virtual learning has particularly affected service clubs. The challenges of the Service Learning Council were best summarized by vice president Norbu as she remarked, “SLC has always been a major center for helping other clubs and organizations that reach out to us, so it was very difficult to move to a virtual format where indirect service is the only option.” As service is one of ISM’s core values, the lack of direct service will affect SLC’s goal significantly.

It seems the consensus is that the shift in medium from face-to-face to online has created challenges for these clubs. Still, this unique school year will force clubs to bring out their creativity to the fullest. Although there may be obstacles in the way, ISM’s clubs are keeping a hopeful outlook and are trying their best to keep their club activities engaging, while striving to reach their goals.