Gael Sisterhood is making lemons out of lemonade by making the best of virtual club life.
As the fall academic semester progresses, so has the club life at Saint Mary’s College. Clubs have started to formulate again amid the barrier of the Covid-19 pandemic and as a result, have had to creatively stretch themselves in order to stay connected.
Gael Sisterhood is among one of the clubs at Saint Mary’s that has made tremendous efforts to link past and new members through virtual events. Second-year member, Julia Parishis, explains how the club has been functioning.
“The club meets over Zoom once a week on Thursday nights at 7:30 p.m.,” Parishes said, “It has only been on Zoom because there are a lot of members who are living at home this semester.” Members have been offered various virtual activities such as mixers, big sister little sister reveals, and movie nights.
The President of the club, third-year Taylor-Montana Swoish, explains how the club has utilized social media as an additional way to connect members. “We do a lot on social media,” said Swoish, “We have a weekly spotlight on Instagram for one of our members.”
Even though meeting over Zoom is not as ideal as meeting in person, Parashis explains how she believes participating in club life during a pandemic is beneficial. “Since most things are held virtually, it can be hard to make new friendships, but Gael Sisterhood has made those friendships still available no matter if you are on campus or at home.” Building connections with other students is vital to individual well-being, especially during the current climate where isolation and social distancing is praised.
Swoish describes how although it has not been an effortless transition to conduct the club virtually, the positive feedback she has received from members make the struggles worth it. The President said, “It feels nice for the girls to tell us that they are so happy to be involved in our club and are able to make connections through virtual events.” Hearing that virtual club life is making a notable difference in members’ lives solidifies the need for it on campus.
Not only does the presence of virtual club life aid in students making life-long connections, but it additionally serves as an ideal social escape from the constant stressors of schoolwork. Freshman member Eleni Kvochak shares how participating in Gael Sisterhood’s online events have incorporated nothing but positivity during her first semester at Saint Mary’s.
“Virtual meetings held by Gael Sisterhood give me the opportunity to take a break from the stresses of school and just have some fun,” Kvochak said, “I look forward to our meetings because I get to meet new people and as a freshman, I feel so lucky to be able to be part of something.” Gael Sisterhood is continuing to commit to organizing exciting, virtual events in order to keep members engaged and connected. Attempting to re-formulate the club during a pandemic is a challenge, but the opportunities it grants members to interact with both fresh and familiar faces serves as an incredible reward.
Gael Sisterhood’s solidified events for this month consist of a Halloween movie night, a Bob Ross painting class, and a merch designing contest.
Melanie Moyer '22,