The Daily Gamecock

Student organizations face virtual challenges, redefine involvement

Previously a day-long event that was held in the heart of campus on Greene Street, the student organization fair turned into a week-long affair with 11 sessions at Russell House and the Carolina Coliseum that students had to pre-register for.

Participants in the fair have been working to make sure their organizations can redefine what it means to be an involved student. 

Gamecocks Aiding Refugees in Columbia (GARC) is an organization that has previously partnered with the Carolina Survivor Clinic, which provides care to refugees. Through the program, members are paired with families to provide tutoring and overall support. Due to the virus, the clinic has decided to refrain from offering these services this semester. 

While the group is still self-educating to prepare for when the Carolina Survivor Clinic opens back up, they are still working on getting virtual tutoring for the kids approved. 

“We are also trying to do a lot more stuff on campus and within our own club,” GARC president and fourth-year public health student Maggie Winters said. “Educational things about the refugee crisis, about some of the populations that we work with.”

The Carolina Clemson Blood Battle, held as another way for the rivals to compete, will not be held the week before the big game between USC and Clemson this year, but USC and Clemson University are still banding together to raise blood for COVID-19 patients. 

Since the pandemic has started, the American Red Cross has been experiencing a severe blood shortage across the country. 

“The tentative plan is to place blood drive blood busses around campus throughout the entirety of the semester,” said third-year biology student Brayden Kammar, who is the vice president of the blood drive.  

Kammar said specific details of how often the blood drive busses will be on campus are still being determined. 

Epsilon Sigma Alpha, a service sorority, is working to keep COVID-19 numbers down. 

"Anything that we can do online, we’re doing it online,” merchandise chair and fourth-year public health student Caroline Sherman said.  

Every year, the sorority participates in the St. Jude Walk/Run in Charleston. This year, it is happening both virtually and in person. 

Sherman has elected for no-contact pick-up with sorority paraphernalia in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Carolina YB, the organization that creates Thee Big Spur annual yearbook, is also choosing the no-contact pick-up method for spring yearbook distribution.

Vice president of Carolina YB Julia Randolph said she is concerned about a limited amount of yearbook content due to COVID-19 guidelines. 

“The yearbook is very in-person events and things like that,” Randolph, a third-year visual communications student, said. “So we’re concerned about the lack of events we can cover.” 

Not only will new COVID-19 guidelines affect the yearbook, but Off-Off Broadway is also taking a hit. 

In a normal year, the organization performs two live audience shows. This year, they are going to record their show, Cabaret, according to third-year sports and entertainment management student Allison Lambert. 

“We’re allowing students to perform roles they wouldn’t normally be cast in for any reason, whether gender, age, voice part, body type, societal norms, anything,” Lambert said. “We’re trying to break down the walls of what theatre sometimes puts in place.” 


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