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Student organizations adapt to moving their meetings online

A screenshot of a Zoom meeting consisting of 14 people, with text in the bottom right corner that says "Defining Me, Empowering We: Mentoring as a Community!"

As classes move online, student organizations have adapted too. With the CDC recommending no gatherings over 10 people, many groups have scrambled to find alternatives to their already planned events.

Spencer Owen, a sophomore, is well aware of the struggle. He is the Vice President of Programming for the Multicultural Greek Council, the Vice President of Delta Lambda Phi, and the Co Programming and Marketing Director of Associated Residence Halls. 

Owen has worked with all the groups to move some of their events online and wants to give other student organizations tips for success.

1. Maintaining contact is important.

Owen’s fraternity, DLP, has moved their socials online, providing time for the members to simply catch up and hang out. Associated Residence Halls, or ARH, still holds weekly meetings. Owen says that even if there isn’t that much to do, talking to each other can still provide some sense of normal

2. Remember your audience.

DLP is an LGTBQ+ fraternity, and Owen knows that many of the members miss the community of campus. “A lot of our programming is focused on supporting those who need it,” he said. He says each organization has different members and it is important to focus on what your members need specifically.

3. Make sure any programming is good and well thought out.

Just because you can move something online, doesn’t mean you should. Make sure any planned programming is still well thought out and provides a purpose.

4. Think about taking the time to prepare for next semester.

If you don’t think your organization should be holding events, take the time to do things like go over websites or constitutions. Owen says DLP has been taking time to plan events for the fall semester.

5. Be okay with not being able to do anything.

It is a hectic time and maybe you can’t imagine holding online events. That’s okay! There is nothing wrong with accepting that there isn’t really anything to do right now.

“My fraternity’s motto is ‘Make your presence make a difference.’ It is important that we don’t lose sight of our core missions. Our bonds go beyond location,” Owen said.

ARH is hosting an online scavenger hunt for all students, starting April 16. In order to participate, download the Goosechase app and use the game code R797GL to join.

The Division of Student Life posts regularly on social media about upcoming events. Follow us at @UIStudentLife on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Events are also posted on the After Class website at https://afterclass.uiowa.edu/events/.