NEWS — October 25, 2020 at 1:31 pm

Clubs and after-school activities meet virtually due to COVID-19

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A circle of desks, each with an open laptop on top, surround the logo for the National Honor Society.
Graphic by Melodie Vo

The universal appeal of clubs and after-school activities usually consists of service hours, getting involved and socialization. Students tend to load up on extracurriculars to bulk up their college resumes and help them stand out. The 2020-2021 school year is no different; however, the manner in which these activities are currently conducted remain unprecedented. As Broward County Public Schools begin to open up their campuses to the students opting to return physically, all extracurriculars are set to remain online until at least the end of the first quarter. 

“We have not received a date yet, so until further notice, all clubs are virtual,” Athletic Director Albert Guzzo said.

Although this school year is like no other, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School staff is trying to do everything they can to normalize school life for students. For example, during the week of Sept. 23-25, Assistant Activities Director Jeffrey Wasserman, along with Student Government Adviser Danielle Driscoll, ran SGA elections via Canvas. 

“[SGA elections were] different, but yes, [they were harder to conduct]. I am having to compile all the students’ campaign information and place it in one central location for the students through Canvas,” Wasserman said. “In the past years, students would hang up their flyers around the school.” 

This is what many MSD students have come to consider the new normal. Due to the fact that most of the students at MSD will be continuing with virtual learning, clubs and after school activities are remaining virtual as well. 

“Meeting virtually is definitely something very new to all of us; however, I believe that it is the safest way to meet with everything going on,” Best Buddies President Nadia Murillo said. “For Best Buddies, we have been having meetings virtually on Microsoft Teams. Additionally, all of the officer board, including myself, have learned to communicate via text message, and I believe that it has been working out very smoothly.”

Even though the county has decided to hold all meetings virtually, the DECA program at MSD has found ways to get their members involved with events. In September, MSD’s DECA gave out free Italian ices from Cecile’s Gourmet Italian Ices in Coral Springs. If DECA members paid their dues on time, they were eligible for the free treat. Freshmen and sophomores were invited on Tuesday, Sept. 15 and juniors and seniors were invited on Wednesday, Sept. 16. 

“We have been using Teams to conduct officer meetings and Zoom for socials and guest speakers,” DECA co-President Alexis Tracton said. “It has been a challenging year to keep up with our regular schedule while figuring out how to keep our members engaged.” 

As the school year progresses, Broward County Public Schools will continue to assess when it will be safe to return to having after-school activities and in-person club meetings.

This story was originally published in the October 2020 Eagle Eye print edition.

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Matthew Rosenthal is a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He enjoys playing sports and hanging out with friends outside of school.

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