Clubs on Campus Adapt to Covid-19 Restrictions



RCHS Academic Decathlon

 Nathan Zamora, Staff Reporter

With Covid-19 shutting down in-person education in schools across the nation, this posed an especially hard challenge for not only online learning, but also participating in a club during distance learning.


Many clubs such as UNICEF, Mock Trial, and Acadec have changed due to the current global pandemic. Academic Decathlon competes against students of a variety of schools as they face head to head by taking tests as teams try to achieve the best scores. Acadec has created strong bonds with one another as a result of spending time with each other preparing for the tests and competitions.


One of the members of Academic Decathlon, senior Aryan Patil, describes how the outbreak has changed the club. He said, “I miss the social interaction with the club…the entire team would go bowling, play in trampoline houses, etc.”


Acadec assistant captain, senior Syed Ali, and team builder, senior Enoch Zhang, explain the changes that have taken place due as a result of transitioning to distance learning


Ali explained, “One of the main aspects that makes Academic Decathlon so competitive and exciting is that all competitors are in the same vicinity taking tests…the outbreak of Covid-19 broadened that competitive environment.”


Similarly, Zhang describes that, “We do all of our events online now, and it has lost the touch that team bonding used to have.”


Due to the outbreak, many competitions were cancelled especially for Mock Trial, a club that simulates court trials and debate and compete head to head against other schools.


Devon White, a senior who is one of the members of Mock Trial since his freshman year explains the disheartening change that has occurred with their future competitions. “We were supposed to go all the way to the state finals to compete there for the first time in RCHS history, but it got cancelled about three days before the event, due to the outbreak, and it was extremely saddening,” said White.


Emotionally, White has been saddened by this sudden change especially because he is no longer “able to hang out with club members after school. Even if it wasn’t just hanging out, but working on what we had to do was still enjoyable.”


Not only has the experience and team-bonding within these clubs have changed but also how the club will be run in the future.


UNICEF publicist and senior, Angelo Lorusso, explains current situations with the growth of the club and the events. “It is not possible to get the club started without Club Rush. Normally, we get new members every year, but only time will tell if we get to have this opportunity,” said Lorusso.


UNICEF holds fundraisers and community service events as a club. Though, challenges have arisen that would disable the clubs to be able to operate as intended. Lorusso said that the club “relies heavily on school donations and community service to help people in need. With this pandemic, it is impossible to get together and raise money through these challenging times.”


Despite these challenges, there is still hope as Lorusso says that “donations are still being held all over the world through online sources” and that upon the return to school “we plan to make the most of what we can work with.”


Many clubs around the world, especially the ones at RCHS have taken action to continue and strive despite the global pandemic. For all, many aspects of the clubs have changed drastically though it is only temporary as these groups continue to put in hard work to come back more ready than ever before.