Clubs need more participation

Bella Lee, Staff Writer

There are over 80 clubs and organizations that students can join at Mercyhurst. Whether it’s an academic club that aligns with your major or a recreational club that’s perfect for your hobbies, there’s a club for almost every interest. And even if there isn’t you have the opportunity to create or revive a club with help from Campus Involvement. However, in the time of COVID, how much participation is there in clubs nowadays? The Campus Involvement Fair that occurred at the beginning of the semester seemed to attract throes of students, but when I look at the Student Hub for meetings, I generally only see meetings for around 5-10 clubs. When I look at the four main clubs I’m involved in, the amount of participation in them is wildly different.

The two clubs that I’ve seen steady decline in participation since I first joined them are the Merciad and the History Club. I’ve been involved in the Merciad every year with the exception of one semester. My first semester as a Mercyhurst student, I saw many people attend Merciad meetings. However, beginning my sophomore year, the number of participants declined, mainly due to the meetings being held over Zoom. This semester was the first in a year and a half that we were able to meet in person, but when I entered the room, the first thing I noticed was how few people were there. The same thing goes with History Club. I’ve also been involved every single year. When I was a freshman, participation was at an all-time high. Sophomore year, all the meetings were over Zoom, and the ones I attended didn’t have many people at all.

Junior year we’re back in person, but we don’t have many students that are as enthusiastic as my class and the classes before me. However, this was the opposite case in the other two clubs I’m in: Tabletop Games Club and Anime Club. These are clubs I’ve gotten involved with more recently. My boyfriend is the Vice President of Tabletop Games Club and the Treasurer of Anime Club, so I thought I would join as a way to be more supportive. I only attended one full meeting of each club last year, but I noticed both times that there were less than 10 students in each meeting. This year, however, I learned that both of these clubs had among the highest interest at the Campus Involvement Fair, and each time I’ve attended meetings, there’s between 25-30 students without fail.

My boyfriend, a founding member of the Tabletop Games Club, is beyond thrilled at the attendance in that club, and so are the members of the e-board in the Anime Club.However, I am still concerned about how most of the other clubs on campus are doing. I don’t hear about many of them, although I know that they exist. I have friends involved in other clubs that say they’re doing well, but I feel that COVID has really derailed chances of socialization and participation for these clubs. I’m forever grateful that I have the chance to join these clubs, and I can only hope that participation will increase again as we continue to push back against COVID.