NO ZOOMING DOWN THE SLOPES NOW – CHAPMAN CLUBS LEARNING SURVIVAL AT HOME

Last year, Chapman’s Snow Club regularly visited Mammoth Mountain. It’s unknown whether those trips will take place this year. From left: Evan Richardson, Tom Mays, Sam Fuchs, Brandon Weisner.

A snowless Slow Club and a Disneyland Club without Disneyland. Chapman has almost 200 authorized clubs on campus, all of them suffering the quarantine blues.

But that doesn’t mean they’ve folded up shop.

“It’s definitely an adjustment” said Kayley Snow, a communications and theatre tech major, and president of Club 55, a Disneyland support club.

Last year, with 200 new members, Snow boasted, “We broke the fire code” with its first meeting. But now? Not as strong, but at least 30 members remain active. To try to keep interest when the pandemic started, Snow said, “We kind of went ham at the beginning. People were so socially deprived.”

How’s this for ham? The Club put out its own Disney song parody on Facebook — “When Will Quarantine End” — and then challenged others to create similar parodies in response.

A masked Madison Tully waits outside the closed Disneyland Park. Photo courtesy of Wesley Strickland.

The club now has a Discord chat to keep members up to date. And even with Disneyland closed, she said, club members still find things to talk about:

“Disney is more than just parks… there’s something we all can collectively enjoy and discuss whenever.” 

The Dungeon Pals Club? Using the website Roll20 and Discord voice chat, it has managed to continue hosting roleplaying games. While the heart of its action remains Dungeons and Dragons, it also hosts a variety of other role-playing games.

Sean Helbig, a senior economics major and club vice-president, says that “We’ve adapted pretty well” to the closed campus, but the problem is, it’s hard to meet new people.

“Since we’re not seeing many people anymore… there hasn’t been much building of new friendships,” Helbig said.

But some clubs get hit harder than others. 

Sophomore Mia Nierenberg, a health science major and spokeswoman for the Chapman Snow Club, mentioned how the group was more affected as an athletic-type club. Generally, the club goes on various trips to Mammoth Mountain during the spring, but now those plans are uncertain. Also, the club wasn’t able to hold its usual barbecue to welcome new members.

Even so, she said, “Fall engagement has been incredibly high.” 

The club has also had to change its marketing strategy. Instead of word of mouth  on campus, she said, now it’s marketing through social media. 

“It’s been a lot harder to make new friends… it’s more uncomfortable,” she said. 

And what if your club needs lots of practice, like Floor 13, a highly popular dance group. Now it’s trying to practice by Zoom. Zoom practices are twice a week. But junior Sophia Saturnino, a business marketing major and spokeswoman for Floor 13, acknowledged it’s just not the same.

Especially with choreography.  It’s not easy when people aren’t all facing the same direction. 

“Teaching over Zoom just doesn’t seem as personal,” she said.

But one thing hasn’t changed: Club members still feel close to each other.

“We like to text each other to make sure we’re doing okay.”

You can catch their performances on the club’s Instagram account..

Zoom “didn’t seem as personal.” The club itself is very close though. She said, “we like to text each other to make sure we’re doing okay.”

Mostly, clubs have found ways to adjust on their own.

Said Nierenberg of the Snow Club: “It’s been a new experience for everyone and we’re trying to figure it out together.” 

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