Every year, thousands of Arnold O. Beckman High School students flood the hallways to visit a plethora of booths and explore their interests. Club Rush is an annual event that allows individuals to discover the 113 clubs that the school has to offer. Each club sets up a table with bright, eye-catching posters and advertises their organization to the masses. However, with the limitations of 2020 and its accompanying COVID-19 pandemic, Club Rush looked a bit different this fall.
Of course, it is impossible for over three thousand individuals to crowd around club booths like they had in previous years. Instead, Club Rush took place in an online setting, maintaining its characteristic nature of excitement and fascination. Approximately a week prior to the event, club presidents were asked to create their own virtual “booths”, which were essentially rows of a Google Sheets filled with information about the clubs’ purposes. Club leaders also created informational videos explaining their clubs’ appeals for the students to view in the coming week.
As the date of Club Rush quickly approached, clubs’ Instagram accounts were filled with an abundance of colorful posts promoting their groups and encouraging students to sign up. A wide array of clubs focused on academic, athletic, artistic, service-oriented, and other niche activities and interests. Each one explained the purpose of their organization, schedule for meetings, and opportunities to apply for board positions. One featured club was Supplies for Smiles, a non-profit organization that works to provide school supplies for underprivileged students. Another example was DECAF Club, which exposes its members to a variety of charities through monthly fundraisers. Beyond these two examples, dozens of clubs boasted their exciting focuses on anything from Korean culture to ping pong to computer science and even to bees.
After weeks of anticipation, at exactly 10:00 am on Wednesday, October 21, the Beckman Patriots logged onto the virtual Club Rush and were presented with a colorful display of the various clubs that were offered. Students were able to scroll through and read the descriptions of each club in order to decide if they were interested in joining. Links to Google Forms were provided for those who wished to sign up, and were quickly completed with students’ names, grades, and emails. If anyone had questions, they could join a virtual Q&A session through a Zoom link provided on the Google Sheet and converse with the club’s board members.
Despite the alterations made to the structure of the traditional Club Rush, the event was definitely a success. Thousands of students were able to join several clubs in order to explore their interests and meet new people, something which has been so hard to accomplish with social distancing and remote learning.