Cancellation of clubs due to Covid-19

Image provided by Washington ASB

Washington High School clubs have had numerous issues starting up this year, because of COVID-19. The Husky Buddies Club has suffered severely by having online meetings only. It’s a club that tries to bridge the social gap between Special Ed students and General Ed students by meeting with each other to have fun. On a weekly basis, the club members of Husky Buddies used to play board games and would also socialise. “We are planning on focusing on larger events instead of periodic meetings during distant learning,” said Sunjay Muralitharan, President of the Husky Buddies Club. “It has been very difficult for the Special Education students to use Zoom. We are unable to meet periodically and play board games in person.” Along with not being able to meet, the Husky Buddies are also missing out on one big field trip: the Special Olympics. The Special Ed Olympics was a big part of the Husky Buddies, as members of the club and Special Ed students would play in teams and compete in a variety of sports to win against other schools. The club has experienced setbacks, but they are looking forward to the future. “We are planning on playing video games and organising a virtual Halloween party along with other large events for the Special Ed students,” says Sunjay.

Not all clubs are suffering though. The Washington High School Gaming Club is still thriving during these difficult times. Aansh Sharma, President of the Gaming Club/Esports, is optimistic. “Our plans for this year are mainly focused on our Discord and a new club section for Esports,” he says. “Discord is a free instant messaging and calling service aimed towards gamers. Discord is for making a replacement for the loss of a classroom in this pandemic.” Even though things are going well for the gaming club, they still have some issues. “Not many people are interested in joining clubs,” says Sharma. In addition, due to distance learning, they can’t do some of the activities they did last year. “Activities that are provided this year are different from what was offered last year,”  says Aansh.  “This year will not include VR trials and tournaments for Smash Bros in a physical place.” However, new opportunities have been discovered due to distance learning, such as Esports. Esports are organized multiplayer video game competitions between professional players. Tanav Mylavaram, organizer of the Esports division of the WHS Gaming Club, explains: “WHS Esports is a group of competitive gamers that compete in the High School Esports League, offering a variety of games. HSEL offers scholarships and looks really good on your college app. By being part of WHS Esports, students are able to deepen their levels of interaction and communicate more effectively, readying them for later life. Esports offers many job opportunities besides being a pro player. If you are interested visit our Instagram for more info, @whs_esports_team.”

Finally, despite some difficulties and hardships, DECA continues to plan future events and  hopes to follow through with them virtually or in person. Raj Thota, President of DECA, says, “Right now, we plan on having DECA run as an organization to whatever extent possible. We know that distance learning will obviously pose some setbacks, but as of now, all major conferences and events are still planned, including the NorCal Career Development Conference and the States Career Development Conference. We don’t know whether the events will be virtual or in person as that depends on a number of factors. Aside from that, all workshops and events will be held virtually for the time being. Also, information for these meetings will be posted on our instagram @huskydeca and also on our website at whsdeca.org!” During this uncertain time DECA has embraced the challenges of distance learning and has continued to proceed with events and activities as normal. Club Rush was a bit unorthodox this year. Usually Club Rush is an event where representatives of clubs host booths during lunch, to describe their clubs and to try to persuade people into becoming new members. The 2020-2021 Club Rush, though, was pre-recorded, with club representatives giving insight about what their clubs do on a weekly basis and answering questions that people have asked. They posted the videos at 5 pm everyday from the 21st to the 25th of September. The Club Rush videos covered Art and Stem, Dance and Culture, Service Clubs, and Academic Clubs. Club Rush videos can be seen on the Instagram TV account @huskycountry.

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