Clubs during COVID

Chess+Club+is+able+to+hold+meetings+during+the+first+semester

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Chess Club is able to hold meetings during the first semester

Bella Coneglio and Madeline Griffith

Hoover High School, along with the rest of the country, has been tremendously affected by the 2020 pandemic. Along with day-to-day changes and a new normalcy, COVID has also put out a slight halt on some activities. As the rest of the world is consumed by this pandemic, Hoover’s clubs have managed to persevere and find alternative routes for the year. While some of the clubs have postponed their meetings, others have been able to meet.
Agape Girls advisor Mrs. Jennifer Griffin, along with her team, has put forth much effort in order to maintain the club’s traditions and importance throughout the school year. Going completely virtual aside from monthly meetings is just one of the major differences.
“This year for Agape Girls, we are not able to go to the middle school in person,” she said. “Instead, we are writing letters to the seventh graders and getting letters in return — a pen-pal type of relationship. In addition, we cannot have our normal training meetings with Agape Girl leaders like we did in the past. Instead, the meetings have been split into four separate times so that social distancing can occur.”
With hopes of maintaining the companionship and student support, she is optimistic for this year’s organization.
“We are hopeful that these pen pal relationships will be a positive ray of light for everyone involved who is missing connection in their lives,” she said.
Gay-Straight Alliance [GSA] advisor Mrs. Gretchen Leckie-Ewing spoke about the 2020-21 changes.
“In GSA, our meetings have changed quite a bit,” she said. “In normal years, there is a lot of fellowship with students meeting or hanging out with each other while they engage in the games, crafts, or discussions of the day. Now they are forced to stay seated and stay with the group they sit with for the whole meeting.”

Students create are during the GSA meeting Nov. 20. (Mrs. Rachelle Ogilvie)

Even with unfortunate changes like new setting arrangements, GSA has not failed to unite in such a difficult time.
“Even from our assigned seats, the affection and respect of the members is still a strong feeling in the group. Everyone is and feels welcome,” she said.
With so much uncertainty, the administrators, staff and students alike are encouraged to take it day-by-day. For many, plans have remained up in the air until the last minute. Co-Literary Magazine and Prom Committee advisor Miss Tiffany Walker, is awaiting a final decision regarding prom and LitMag with the pandemic in mind.
“COVID has certainly created a lot of unanswered questions concerning prom; however, the Literary Magazine Staff is proceeding as usual,” she said.
Thankfully, Hoover’s staff has been resilient and safe while proceeding with annual clubs and activities this year. With hope for better months to come, Hoover’s club members and leaders continue to remain optimistic, always keeping the safety and health of their students in best interest.
Some clubs have decided to see where the pandemic numbers are and reopen during the second semester of the school year. One of the reasons certain clubs are not opening is because of how many people would be in one room at a time. In Art Club, there are around 40 to 50 people at the beginning of the year. This number may slowly increase or decrease throughout the year. Some teachers in charge of these clubs, such as French Club advisor Miss Susan Schilling, are planning on possibly reopening — depending on the pandemic.
“There’s a lot of unknowns with the COVID situation with the pandemic,” she said. “That’s why we just kind of decided to hold off on meeting the first semester, hoping that things would calm down, that then maybe we would be able to do something by second semester.”
Art Club advisor Mrs. Tam Grandjean is unsure about what is to come with the pandemic.
“I am not having it this year because of my concerns with COVID-19,” she said. “I feel I am already on borrowed time with the COVID-19 and do not want to risk getting it from the club.”
Schilling still has hope regarding the future of the larger clubs at Hoover.
“There has been talk of possibly doing things online, like a Zoom meeting or something like that, just to at least do something,” she said. “But again, I have no idea what that’s going to look like.”