LBSU Beach Pride Events hosts Week of Welcome (WoW) for the first time after a year of online virtual events. Following the absence, over 200 student clubs, organizations and campus resources spread out throughout the week.
Beach Pride has split up clubs in two-day intervals through Monday and Thursday, including sports, cultural, university resources, fraternities and sororities on Aug. 30-31, and religious, academic, community services, and special interests Sept. 1-2 at the Central Quad.
For many students, WoW is an LBSU tradition known for informing students, especially first-years, about the various opportunities available campus-wide.
Second-year psychology major Gabriela Barrios, 19, was enrolled in CSULB last year. However, she was barred from attending on-campus activities due to the pandemic and is looking to find job opportunities.
“I was looking for more information on what the school offers like careers and stuff, since this is my first semester on-campus and so far, I like going around the different ASI booths,” said Barrios.
Barrios shared the same sentiment that many students know too well, like sitting behind screens and attending Zoom classes for a year but for clubs, it was a different challenge.
Fourth-year psychology major Kaylin Jones, 21, president of the Shining Jewelettez, a dance club active since 2018, recognized that the club was made official in fall 2020 but could not perform auditions for newcomers to showcase their skills, so instead, they met virtually.
“The fact that we weren’t able to see each other and be around each other was really hard for us. So in order to keep everyone safe, and the vibe going and everything, we would just check in with each other, just making sure that everyone was like doing okay, mentally,” said Jones.
The Shining Jewelettez is an inclusive dance club that aims to empower people of color through dance choreography reminiscent of jazz, majorette and hip-hop.
Another way that Jones describes the club is “sisterhood,” which has kept them strong during a time of uncertainty.
“We just tried our hardest to listen, to just make sure everyone was good. And like, ideas flowing about how to create the team to make it better for what we found out like, honestly, a lot of brainstorming on how to get the team strong,” said Jones.
One of the ways students found out about the Shining Jewlettez was through their Instagram page, which is what many other student clubs and organizations have been doing to keep in touch with students, including Beach Pride Events.
Beach Pride Events has held most of their student activities virtually due to the pandemic, but since the return of students on-campus, they have been spreading the word on jobs and clubs during WoW.
Recreational and Leisure studies, Shermae Gutierrez, 22, was hired last semester while the campus was still undergoing online learning. As Gutierrez helps students with questions regarding what clubs are available, she also reminds them to follow COVID-19 safety protocols.
Some of the people who were not following safety protocols were some fraternities and sororities tables stationed near the lecture halls.
“Even though we tell them that, they, you know, they listen, but they also like remove it. So we try to reinforce it. But there’s only just so much we can do. And plus, it’s hard for us to keep leaving our station. So yeah, that’s a super shame,” said Gutierrez.
Despite the concern of spreading the coronavirus, Beach Pride attempt to keep students safe by providing hand sanitizers at each booth and enforcing students to wear masks.
ASI will continue hosting more programs throughout the semester, including Rec Fest on Sept. 2, 5-7p.m.