March 26, 2020

Despite not being able to meet, RSOs are still finding ways to engage

By Victoria Doll —

All on-campus events and activities have been cancelled until further notice due to the spread of COVID-19. According to the University of Louisville President Neeli Bendapudi, online instruction is extended to the end of the semester and so are final exams; therefore, all campus events are suspended as well. 

In her latest email, Bendapudi said, “Events hosted by any University of Louisville entity or at any University of Louisville facility are to be postponed or cancelled through at least April 28th.” 

Even though there are no in-person meeting times for U of L’s clubs, there are still ways to participate and stay engaged. According to Julia Onnembo, University of Louisville’s assistant director of student involvement, a great way to stay engaged is to use the Engage website to cast your vote to elect your RSO Officers.

She said, “Engage has a great election program that you can use to run a virtual ballot in your individual portals.”  

Another way that campus RSOs are staying engaged is through group chats. A lot of clubs are maintaining communication through the app GroupMe or other mass messaging apps. 

To keep business flowing as normal as possible, some clubs use the platform Zoom to host online meetings and hold elections. For example, The National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) club on campus continues to host meetings through Zoom to discuss basic club information and how to move forward. 

NSCS’s President Ashley Ward, said, “These unprecedented times call for leaders who can adapt to abrupt changes. As a student leader of an RSO, my fellow officers and I have agreed to continue to offer open communication.” 

She continued to say that she encourages all RSOs to adjust as best as possible. “Student leaders need to adjust to online meetings, emails, social media and independent activities. Our primary purpose right now is to be an outlet for questions and concerns. Since we have quickly learned to adapt to an online campus, I know that we can face future challenges.”

Ashley has hope that even though these times are challenging, next semester the NSCS club and the community of U of L will be closer as a community. 

Overall, there isn’t much that anyone can do besides focus on classes and help the cause by staying inside and following other CDC guidelines.

Bendapudi concluded her email with some thoughtful advice and words of encouragement. “Despite all the busy-ness, I hope you will take a moment to pause.  Slow down.  Anchor yourself in what matters most to you. Together we will persevere through this tumultuous time and come out the other side a stronger, more unified university community.” 

File photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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