Even though we are no longer on campus, student organizations have found ways to adapt and stay connected during these uncertain times.
Haley Johnson and Anthony Landahl work for The Scout, and the student media organization has not stopped because the campus is closed.
Editing articles used to be done entirely in the office by making suggestions on a printed out story. During this time, however, The Scout moved the editing process to Google Drive.
“In a way, the editing process was a little bit more efficient,” Johnson, editor-in-chief, said. “It’s actually a little quicker to edit and maybe that could be beneficial for the future. It definitely pushed our technologically savvy limits.”
The way The Scout reports on certain subjects has also changed because the reporters can’t just walk around campus to grab quotes from students and faculty. Johnson advised her news staff to utilize social media for student reactions and many interviews were handled over email or the phone, which was a slower process at times.
Landahl, the news editor, said the entire organization had to be restructured and people’s roles had to be adjusted to adapt to the remote environment.
“We are an organization that relies heavily on an office to work in,” Landahl said. “Our offices have now just become our computers.”
Without the physical product of the newspaper, The Scout had to rely on its online products such as the emailed newsletter, social media accounts and the website to get the news out.
“We got the content out and that’s what I’m happy about,” Landahl said. “Overall, I think for what was going on and the situation we were given, I think we did the best we could … We kept up our standard of journalistic excellence.”
Many students are experiencing a challenge when it comes to the motivation of doing work and student organizations are not immune to this feeling.
“You know the work is there and you just kind of put it off,” Landahl said. “The work, I guess, isn’t as fun as it would be in person. In person, you kind of have a place to go to and people to see and if you’re motivated to get work done, you’ll get it done.”
Johnson is also the public relations chair in Sigma Kappa and said sorority life has entirely paused due to the pandemic.
“I would say my job has become more important than it ever has because a lot of communication is happening virtually,” Johnson said. “I feel more of a responsibility to boost that morale that we have.”
In order to do that, she has been posting more and sending out a weekly inspirational newsletter with positive news, quotes and suggested hobbies.
Johnson also commended other student organizations like ACBU, who have been hosting virtual events instead of giving up on the semester.
“I think student organizations have been really stepping up,” Johnson said. “They’re doing a lot for what seems like an impossible situation … I think the fact that we’ve adapted really shows strength.”