Club Fair Continues in a Virtual World

Members+of+the+Environment+Club+pose+for+a+photo+at+the+2019+club+fair+in+the+gym.+Due+to+COVID-19+restrictions%2C+the+club+fair+will+be+virtual+this+year.+Instagram%2Ftptreehuggers+%0A

Members of the Environment Club pose for a photo at the 2019 club fair in the gym. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the club fair will be virtual this year. Instagram/tptreehuggers

Jadyn Forman, Staff Writer

 

  The club fair has always served as a way for student leaders to introduce their clubs to prospective students. This year, however, there is much uncertainty about how the club fair will operate with the new hybrid schedule and social distancing measures taken on campus.

   Usually, the club fair is conducted during an assembly where students set up science boards with information about their clubs along with sign up sheets in the gym. It gives students the opportunity to see what clubs Tampa Prep has, as well as the ability to inquire about clubs they may already be interested in. 

   “In previous years, we solicited the clubs to see who wanted to participate and then we set up, in the gym, tables for them,” Dean of Students in the Upper School and Sophomore Class Dean Ryan Clements said.

   This year posed a challenge to the way club fair has been done previously due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic preventing large gatherings. To comply with this, the club fair is going to be virtual.

   The club fair will be conducted using Flipgrid, an app and website that allows students to share and view videos, as well as comment by making their own video.

   “ I’m curious to see how it’s going to play out. I think it will be effective in the sense that they’ll have the information and they might be more willing to watch the videos than go and stand and wait for the chance to talk to someone too,” said Clements.

   Club leaders, such as Key Club President Lawton Brinkman, are concerned about a lack of attendance due to the club fair not taking place in a physical space.

   “There will be a handful of people who don’t watch it, as opposed to normal years when you are more likely to go down into the gym,” Brinkman said.

   Despite many obstacles, student and faculty leaders of clubs are working hard to pull off club fair and in-turn clubs as a way for students to socialize and have extracurricular activities.

   “Over the course of the summer, I did some professional development and it really stressed the importance of kids having available time to meet, to socialize, and clubs are one of the ways kids socialize. It became vitally important that whatever the case was, we found a way to make it so that kids can still have that time,” Clements said.

  Club leaders have hope for positive experiences to come out of this negative situation.

  “I think it will make the club more adaptable as well as accessible,” said Brinkman, referring to Key Club’s virtual meetings.

   The virtual club fair will take place on Sept. 29 via Flipgrid, which can be downloaded from the App Store or found at this link: https://flipgrid.com/ .