Arts & Life, Events

Student engagement proves to be difficult during Week of Welcome at CSULB

Long Beach State clubs and organizations greeted students via Zoom on Wednesday, Sept. 2 as virtual Week of Welcome continues. 

The first session of the day featured groups such as Fraternity and Sorority Life, anime club, campus couture and more special interest organizations. The afternoon session gave students the opportunity to meet with more university resources, community services and club sports. 

With Week of Welcome being all virtual this semester, the Beach Bollywood club shared how their first day was going. 

“We had a couple mishaps,” third-year Kinesiology major Gauri Deshpande said. 

Deshpande explained that Zoom would not allow her to be the host in her own meeting she scheduled, resulting in her having to change the link last minute and possibly losing connection with potential members. 

Despite the rocky start, Deshpande, the captain of Beach Bollywood, never let her hopes fall for bringing in new recruits. 

“They [students] definitely come in like really interested because Bollywood is something they haven’t really heard about,” Deshpande said. “It’s new and different.” 

All the clubs involved with Week of Welcome are navigating how to keep people interested while on Zoom, but clubs like the Cal State Rollers are thankful for the extra day to come up with new ideas to get people engaged. 

“I already started taking notes on what I can do tomorrow that I didn’t do today,” Victoria Hurtado, a fourth-year English creative writing major, said. 

Hurtado explained that she wants to feature more people skating for their next session and have a more relaxed Zoom call for people to participate in rather than only showing a Google Slideshow. 

Engagement is not the only thing that groups are concerned about for this semester’s Week of Welcome. 

Clubs are worried about keeping engagement with prospective members once their virtual booths end. The CSULB cycling club expressed how they hope to keep people involved and a part of the group. 

“I think in the past our memberships have been about four or five people and so we are just trying to keep that solid group and more started so that’s what we are really looking for,” Joshua Villas, a fourth-year public relations major, said. 

Still, all the clubs on campus are trying to keep a positive mindset and look forward to what virtual Week of Welcome can bring. 

“I’m not going to complain about the amount of people we have had come in,” Deshpande said. “We weren’t really expecting anything because online it is difficult but we will take it.” 

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