Clubs stay active remotely during stay-at-home orders

Remote learning doesn’t stop MU students from keeping active with events like a virtual 5k and an online lecture.

Clubs and student organizations at MU find new ways to stay connected with their members — even when they’re miles apart.

Various clubs on campus have shifted planned events to fit the COVID-19 pandemic by using remote participation to ensure students still have a chance to take part in their clubs. Some of the adapted events include a virtual 5K by Mizzou Club Running and a Zoom presentation on coping strategies during times of stress by Mizzou 2.

Mizzou 2 is a club dedicated to giving the families of international students a sense of home at MU.

Mizzou 2 president Jessica Osaze gave the presentation for Mizzou 2. The presentation was to show that resilience is a key characteristic.

“I compared the Mizzou tiger to the real-life tiger,” Osaze said. “It’s not the king of the jungle, [but] it’s still stronger than the king of the jungle and even more resilient than the lion. Mizzou tigers can go through this. It doesn’t matter what life throws at us; we can actually outlast this thing.”

Osaze knew the impact that her presentation would have on attendants, especially at a time like this.

“Everyone thought it was a timely event because it actually helped them in the moment,” Osaze said. “It’s going to leave a lasting impression with everyone who attended.”

Although the group isn’t meeting in person, Osaze makes sure to encourage the members of Mizzou 2 to keep strong and make sure everyone is doing alright.

“Everybody [in Mizzou 2] keeps talking about how stressed they are right now. Every time you talk to someone you have to encourage them,” Osaze said.

Osaze knows the current situation is temporary, so the best thing to do now is give her group hope for the future.

“There’s nothing we can do except thrive,” Osaze said. “Where there is life, there is hope. And where there is hope, we thrive.”

Mizzou Club Running recently adapted its structure and events to fit the current situation as well.

Senior Sally Heil, the president of Mizzou Club Running, said she knew that with the current situation the group would have to adapt. Since then, Heil and the club adopted new remote methods of meeting.

“Having all of this technology like Zoom and other social media forms has been a really great way for me to be able to still enjoy hanging out with all of our members,” Heil said. “I’m really grateful to have that because without it, I would feel like my experience with the club was just over.”

Mizzou Club Running planned a virtual 5K, an event where participants would run a 5K at their own pace by themselves. The event hopes to get those who might otherwise be discouraged by the current situation to go out and run.

Heil said she hoped that through the virtual 5K, students will stay motivated knowing that their fellow members are competing in the same race even when they aren’t right next to them.

“It’s hard to stay motivated right now when you can’t actually race,” Heil said. “But there’s just something to be said about knowing you’re doing something in solidarity with other people from your club.”

Tyler Gray, a member of Mizzou Club Running, spoke about how difficult the new situation is.

“It’s kind of tough for everybody … after a long day of classes and homework, you got to go run and relax with friends,” Gray said. “Now you’re stuck at home doing I think a little bit more work than when I was in school, and I don’t see any of [my friends].”

According to Gray, the new virtual meetings with the group help him keep up a normal schedule.

“I think running and keeping up with [the group] has allowed me to try to keep some level of normalcy … obviously, it’s not the same, but it definitely helps organize my day,” Gray said.

Gray said he wanted to make it clear that the current situation isn’t the same as the usual in-person meetings.

“Connecting over the phone and social media is not a replacement for meeting every day and being able to run together and eat together afterwards,” Gray said. “We’re doing all we can, but there’s only so much you can do in this situation.”

Edited by Lucy Caile | lcaile@themaneater.com

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