Student organizations plan around pandemic

Student organizations plan around pandemic

Registered student organizations at Kennesaw State introduced new methods of operation to comply with restrictions resulting from the effects of the pandemic.

Kennesaw State registered student organizations experienced an issue surrounding the state of operations when the fall 2020 semester started as a result of the current pandemic limiting in-person interaction.

KSU’s campuses remain open, but both Kennesaw and Marietta face restrictions surrounding the operation of face to face events, according to the KSU Coronavirus Information and Resources website. Additionally, events with over 300 expected attendees have been postponed indefinitely.

The resulting situation left RSOs to find solutions that would allow the continuation of events and organization operation without putting students and staff at risk of exposure to the virus.

“We are trying to do events that have [fewer students] and more regulations to follow the guidelines that are put in place,” International Student Association President Maimuna Jallow said. “We are trying to be as flexible as we can with integrating virtual opportunities and finding opportunities to collaborate with other organizations.”

The ISA has been able to continue operation to support international students through the use of Microsoft Teams to welcome new international students in virtual sessions, Jallow said. Virtual events are also in planning to connect with students taking classes from their home countries, in addition to events such as the International Fair.

“We are trying to stay as flexible with changes made to [event] policies,” Jallow said. “However, the main focus this semester will be helping students as much we can with [the resources] we have available.”

Other student organizations have found success in the planning of events that occur purely online, rather than planning limited in-person events, such as the new KSU Esports Program. The program was started by the Esports RSO, KSU Esports Program President Nishik Patel said.

“[The organization] held events in person and interacted with the community in a physical setting,” Patel said. “However, the pandemic has caused us to ignore the in-person setting. [We are] still interacting with the community we have online as usual.”

The program has seen success in the planning of events that utilize platforms such as Discord, an organized chat and call service similar to Skype, Patel said.

“I can confidently say that [the KSU Esports Program] is growing,” Patel said. “The online environment that we have helps out a wide variety of students during this pandemic.”

Future plans for the organization include streaming and casting for games played by the esports teams and competition clubs, Patel said. Online competitive and casual events are also in the planning stages.

For more information, students can follow the ISA’s Instagram or join the KSU Esports discord server. Future events will be posted on OwlLife’s events page.

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