Clubs? In A Pandemic?


Photo by Cross & Anchor

LOTAs attend the club fair to sign up for clubs at AHC

The arrival of January brought a new semester to Holy Cross, but along with the returning LOTAs came the newest variant of Covid-19, Omicron. With the new variant came a list of new safety precautions from the administration, including the pausing of all club activities until February. 

This quick transition was unexpected, and the announcement came right before the return to school, leaving club leaders scrambling to figure out how to push things back.

“I was gonna try to do a propagation with spider plants with the entire group because the greenhouse is kind of a mess and there are a lot of spider plant offshoots, and that would’ve cleaned up the greenhouse and given people something to do,” commented senior Abigail Moon, leader of the Botany Club. “We ended up not being able to do it because we can’t have club meetings anymore.” 

Club fair table
Prism club’s vibrant table (Photo by Cross & Anchor)

The Botany Club is not the only group that struggled with the new rules. The LOTAs for Life club, which takes a trip into D.C. every January to participate in the March For Life, were also frustrated with the postponement of club activities. 

“Because of the pandemic, we really weren’t able to meet ahead of time, during the month of January, even if we were able to go,” explained Donna Reese, moderator of the pro-life club. “There’s a lot of uncertainty when you can’t meet and you’re trying to get information out through emails, chats, and stuff like that.” 

The LOTAs for Life are not alone in dealing with the cancellation of January activities. The early months are usually the season of robotics competitions, and the Holy Cross Robotics team would ordinarily be spending long hours in the robotics room, prepping for their competitions. 

“That’s why [the pandemic] had such a big impact, because normally you would meet 10 hours a week and you couldn’t meet at all,” observed David Geiser, moderator of the robotics team. 

The lack of activities was not all bad, however. It gave club leaders time to rethink how they plan to run, making changes that may not have been thought of without the pandemic. The robotics team, for example, has decided to switch robotics organizations, moving from FIRST robotics to VEX robotics. The switch means a shift to smaller scale robots and the robotics program will be in better alignment with the school’s project lead the way (PLTW) program. 

“What the pandemic did was have us completely rethink and reevaluate how we were approaching learning robotics,”said Geiser. “I think independent of the pandemic this was the right decision for the school, and the pandemic forced us to make the decision earlier.”

Club fair table
Onyx Club’s sparkly poster (Photo by Cross & Anchor)

Although the pandemic has brought many new challenges, the LOTAs determination will not sway them from powering through and being flexible with change. 

“Inconsistency is a huge thing, but things are also inconsistent in life and that is just something we’re gonna have to go with for now,” reflected Reese. “The girls are passionate to the core about these clubs, and it makes me so happy to see that.”