Opinion | The pandemic won’t stop Hawkeye clubs

Despite being in a pandemic, many clubs are making it safe to participate in their activities and be social. You’d be remiss to ignore them.


Hayden Froehlich

The Old Capitol building is seen on Monday, Nov. 11, 2019.

Signe Nettum, Opinions Columnist

While we are half a month into the current semester, there are still many chances to join clubs this semester and school year as a whole — and those opportunities shouldn’t be missed.

Yes, you read that right. I want you to join a club. I know many of us are not on campus, and even if we are, we should be practicing safety measures like staying away from crowds and gatherings. Even so, joining a club is essential in a university student’s life at a college, and this year should be no different—except for maybe the format of meeting up with the group.

If we toss COVID-19 out of our minds for a moment and think about life on campus without the virus, what would you be doing? Would you be seeking out a running club? Playing chess? Maybe try your hand at the radio or the newspaper? Would you find a faith-based organization since you left your hometown? Relaxing at one of the University of Iowa’s cultural houses (touted as a Hawkeye’s “Home away from Home”) are closed, but offering virtual programming for the semester.

Humanity as a whole craves connection. It’s been proven time and time again that being social and seeking relationships with others is a key component of personal health. We are hardwired to seek out others like us and find communities we can join.

Student organizations and clubs at the University of Iowa are there for students who are seeking connections, upper and lower classmen alike.

COVID-19 has changed how clubs and organizations can run this semester: All student engagement efforts and registered student organization activities will be moved to a virtual format. While you can meet in a group of ten or less, that does not bode well for many organizations.

Even so, the University of Iowa has amazing clubs and organizations that are holding virtual events like community work outs, trivia nights, and even virtual sports.

COVID-19 should not stop you from reaching out and connecting with others. College is not just about academics, it is about finding those you share a connection with.

Besides, part of all students’ tuition are the Student Activity, Student Services, and Student Union Fees. If you don’t join a student org, then you’re just letting part of your tuition get thrown into the trash.

A big regret of mine freshman year is not seeking out those clubs from the start. I kept to myself, and only joined those that were practically at my doorstep. I developed the idea of “well, if I didn’t join at the beginning of the school year, I can’t join now, so I’ll wait until next year”.

I wish I could go back in time and shake some sense into my freshman year self because you can join almost any club at any time of the academic year.

While you may need to do more searching this year to find Zoom links, instead of stumbling upon the room in the IMU late one night, clubs are constantly seeking new members to join their organizations.

It’s not just about being social – it’s about maintaining a more personal connection to your peers while we’re trapped in the midst of a pandemic. Even though we can’t be together, we’re still Hawkeyes – and being in a club is the perfect way to remind ourselves of that.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.