Online Scot Spirit Day has challenges and victories

Emma Reiner

Senior Features Writer

 

Scot Spirit Day looked a lot different this year. In the past, it  consisted of a crowded outdoor event with student organizations tabling and encouraging students to join their groups while listening
to music from Woo 91 and the Scot band. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Wooster decided to hold Scot Spirit Day virtually via Microsoft Teams. Additionally, this event took place over three days instead of one afternoon. Each day had different time slots for dif-
ferent types of organizations including Greek Life, multi-ethnic, club sports, arts and special interest organizations.

When asked about how this year’s Scot Spirit Day compared to  those in the past, Louis Schwartz ’21 had a lot to say about the event. “The virtual setting made it a lot more challenging to connect and engage with people. I think it turned out the best way that it could, given the circumstances, but it does seem like most student orgs are going to see a massive drop in recruitment compared to last year.” Louis tabled for four organizations throughout the three day period: Common Grounds, Live Action RolePlay (LARP), Hillel and Queer Student Union (QSU). Louis added that QSU and Hillel had more students show up compared to LARP and Common Grounds, but “numbers were still down.”

Cesar Lopez ’21, had a different view of the event, “It would be hard  to compare this Scot Spirit Day weekend to years past because  they’re so different in nature.” Cesar is an intern for Lowry Center
and Student Activities and is the Sexuality and Gender Diversity representative for Scot Council. He added that while Scot Spirit Day was different from usual, it “was pretty successful in its own right.”

Allison Ringold ’23, a member of the Quidditch team, explained how Scot Spirit Day worked compared to last year. “My first year I went to Scot Spirit Day and just let whatever happened next happen. With Scot Spirit Day being online, their specific interests had to come  first. So, of course we had less people sign up.” She added that there is more of an emphasis this year on using social media to interest  people in their organization.

Morgan Kromer ’22, the president of the math club, said that they  “had [a] super low turnout.” She reasoned that it was because “people [were] being dissuaded by the name and no one chose to see what we were about unless they were directly looking for a
math club.” The organization usually plays card games, but it was difficult for them to inform students of that, making recruitment challenging.

Lilly Woerner, ’21, the secretary of After These Messages, an all-treble a cappella group, said that most people “just came for about 10 minutes to hear our summary of the group. They asked some questions, but nothing too personal about the members.” She added that because there were “multiple a capella groups, people switched around a lot between them.” After These Messages
also had fewer people show up than usual.

The Rugby Club also had a low turnout. Sarah Snider ’23, is the vice president of the organization and explained that the low turnout was not necessarily a bad thing.

“I believe the turnout could have been better. However, the people that came to our booth were very welcoming and stayed for a long time.” She added that because of the way Scot Spirit Day was held, she “think[s] the people who are going to join are more dedi-
cated and more likely to stick with it.”

COVID-19 has impacted many parts of our lives, including student  organizations. But, as Lopez said, “there will still be opportunities to safely build and be in community with one another.”