Hayden Lester, Contributing Writer
Bergen Community College is well known for its vibrant student life. Many organizations, clubs and ass
ociations are frequently seen holding events amongst the sofas in Pitkin Education Center and hosting meetings in various classrooms all across campus.
BCC has many different kinds of clubs, including social, cultural, educational and more. With over 60 clubs listed on Bergen’s website, there is a group for almost any interest you may have! These clubs are known to have regular weekly meetings on BCC campus to explore the club’s purpose. However, with Bergen’s decision to finish the spring semester online due to the coronavirus, how is Bergen’s community responding?
The closure of the campus, as well as that of numerous schools, businesses and other establishments in the state, was provoked by concerns connected to the rapid spread of COVID-19, a newly discovered form of coronavirus which first appeared in Wuhan, China, but has since traveled all over the globe.
According to the World Health Organization, this new strain will cause only mild symptoms in 80% of cases, but places the elderly at high risk and those with pre-existing medical conditions, such as heart or lung cancer and diabetes.
With the rise both of uncertainty and of positive cases and deaths in the tri-state area, which have now climbed to 110,000 and over 2,000, respectively, on March 15, Bergen’s administration decided to close all its physical locations, cancel all on-campus events planned for Spring 2020, and move all classes online.
Bergen’s club community has been responding to this disaster in many different ways. Although some clubs have chosen to cancel all remaining events for the semester, many are still active to some extent. Many of these clubs are still holding meetings for their members online, and some are even hosting other events through social media platforms! For example, BPM, BCC’s Business and Production of Music Club is holding weekly online meetings, as well as hosting live concerts every Monday at 7 p.m. on their Instagram page.
Some organizations are focusing on transitioning their weekly or bi-weekly meetings and presence online, such as the Student Government Association, Phi Theta Kappa and the STEM Club. Other clubs are connected to national organizations that are holding many online events in addition to local branch events and meetings, such as Hillel and InterVarsity.
A few clubs have foregone weekly meetings but are still holding occasional events online, such as the African Student Union and the Pride Club. Even those clubs which cannot continue to meet weekly are still staying in contact through social media accounts and group chats, such as the Theatre Club. Additionally, all clubs are still active and recruiting through their social media platforms!
Club leaders have been doing their best to adapt to this sudden change. BCC’s student leaders are reluctant to allow student life to wane, citing their love and passion for their clubs and communities as their motivation in this dark time.
The BCC BPM Club leaders gave this comment through their Instagram page: “In times like this, people turn to art for a distraction and for hope. It’s our job to deliver that, and right now the world needs it so badly. Any musicians that want to get involved are more than welcome to contact us.” The BPM can be reached through their Instagram account @bergenbpm
Helen Witte, the Vice President of the Student Government Association commented, “The SGA is still working for the student body. We hope we can help you all get through this tough time.” These leaders have been working extremely hard to hold our communities together in this dark time.
BCC club pages can be found across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. An official list of the organizations, clubs and associations can be found on Bergen’s website. Members of these clubs are able to continue a sense of normalcy and contact with their communities. Additionally, people who join new clubs during this time will be able to have online contact in this quarantine and a subject to focus on. These clubs are extremely important during this dark time and can be extremely beneficial to those who participate in them.