By Aubrie Chastain
With a new school year comes fewer restrictions and guidelines from Montevallo’s COVID-19 Task Force. The implementation of many rules from the task force set student organizations back and struggling to meet in-person. Now, with fewer rules and restrictions, clubs can meet face-to-face.
Sommer Stuart, a sophomore on the cheer team, explained how the rules for cheer practices have changed. During last year, the athletes had to social distance as much as possible and gym bags had to be against the wall six feet away from each other. She said, “If we hit a stunt, we couldn’t give each other high fives, or have any contact other than spotting or stunting.”
With social distancing not as prevalent, Stuart mentioned how much nicer it was to interact with each other more and see everyone’s faces.
Abigail Heuton, a sophomore and SGA Director of External Affairs, explained how meetings have changed after fewer regulations. Last year for SGA, all meetings would be conducted on Zoom which made it hard to interact and form connections with fellow senators.
Heuton said, “It was harder to get people involved through Zoom because excitement was hard to raise through an online format.”
Now that SGA is in-person, it’s easier to plan events and get people excited for them. Heuton said, “You don’t realize how communication is very much dependent on being able to see each other’s expressions when talking and that helps a lot with meeting and being able to get legislation passed.”
Heuton also talked about how it was harder to focus on Zoom due to distractions and things going on around her. Now SGA is in a controlled environment, making it easier to focus and get work done.
Janie Taylor, a sophomore and Student Art Association President, also talked about the differences in the COVID-19 policy.
Taylor explained the same struggles as Heuton relating to Zoom and how it was hard to communicate through the platform.
With in-person meetings, Taylor said, “People seem more open to talk because you can tell if someone is facing you, they’re ready to talk or even making eye contact with you.” With in-person, Taylor feels a lot better at the SAA meetings and feels that people are more comfortable as well.
Now that clubs are returning to “normal,” Taylor is looking forward to getting the chance to laugh with others and make meetings not feel like they are just for business.
Donovan Brock, a junior and a member on the esports team, talked about how COVID-19 made it impossible for him to participate in Smash tournaments, where players challenge each other in the game series Super Smash Bros.
Brock explained how the team was newly formed during COVID-19, which hindered tournaments, because they were no longer able to meet in person to compete.
Now that things are different, Brock and his team are finally able to look forward to competing in upcoming tournaments and even have one coming up on Sept. 25.
With many organizations able to meet back in-person, students are glad to feel the excitement of getting to see each other face-to-face. The COVID-19 pandemic set back many organizations and their ability to work on events and meetings, and they are able to proceed and look ahead to another new year with more exciting opportunities.
Aubrie Chastain is a writer for The Alabamian. She is a first-year political science major with plans to attend law school. She enjoys a good book, coffee and hikes.