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The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Student organizations adapt to fall recruitment conditions

H.E.A.T+members+stand+outside+at+a+tabling+recruitment+event+in+Sept.+2019+on+The+Quad+at+Texas+State.

H.E.A.T members stand outside at a tabling recruitment event in Sept. 2019 on The Quad at Texas State.

Student organizations are coming up with creative ways to approach recruitment and outreach as Texas State brings students back to campus with COVID-19 protocols in place.
According to the university’s Roadmap to Return, many student activities, services and programs will be held in-person and online this fall, with limits on the number of participants for in-person meetings and tabling events on The Quad.
Texas State’s Student Organizations Council (SOC) is at the forefront of promoting the 400+ co-curricular activities, services and programs on campus. Now that in-person events, like student organization fairs and Bobcat Preview, will no longer be possible due to social distancing guidelines, SOC is finding new ways to reach out to students beyond the LBJ Ballroom.
SOC began providing online information sessions for students to learn more about the different student organizations offered on campus. SOC President Diego Hurtado, a biology and health science junior, says social media tools such as Instagram Live have helped in providing a link of contact between student organizations and students.
“Our main focus was for freshman, but [Instagram Live] is for everyone to get that initial contact that we would also have in the student organizations fair with the student body,” Hurtado said. “I know in Bobcat Preview they would have their own [organization] fair there for freshmen, but since they are not doing that, we thought to help them with that and have the live fair with organizations to talk about themselves.”
The SOC Instagram Live series will continue until the first week of September. So far, Hurtado says he has seen success these first few days from organizations and student viewership.
“Right now, I think it’s pretty successful,” Hurtado said. “There are a lot more organizations that signed up to have a live session on social media, and having the live session helps the student [organizations] get that initial contact with more students.”
Organizations like the Human Environmental Animal Team (H.E.A.T), known for its spirited and exuberant behavior in its gray and green booth on The Quad, are moving all operations online this fall and conducting Instagram Live sessions. The non-profit volunteer organization focuses on solving issues regarding the environment, humans and animals, with positive activism.
H.E.A.T President Leah Bach, a resource and environmental senior, says safety is the number one priority for the organization. Operating in a virtual setting will present a challenge for H.E.A.T since the organization centers around aiding the San Marcos and Texas State community.
Despite the challenges, Bach remains confident H.E.A.T will be successful regardless of the limitations presented by COVID-19.
“This is going to be a challenge because [in] H.E.A.T, one of our main things is community,” Bach said. “We all love volunteering, but you also go to things because your friends are going and you love hanging out with these people, so being virtual is definitely going to be a challenge, but we’re not going to let that discourage us.”
Since the start of quarantine, Bach and her team have come up with new ways to serve the San Marcos community in safe, socially-distanced ways.
“At the beginning of quarantine, we sent out this spreadsheet with different volunteer options like [making] a mask for an hour of volunteer work, send a letter to an elderly person [or] donate canned goods,” Bach said. “The thing about H.E.A.T is that we’re a very innovative organization, and we call ourselves bottom-up, meaning that we come to the members for all of our volunteer ideas.”
Like most student leaders, Bach is unsure what lies ahead for student organizations and clubs. However, she says students can expect H.E.A.T to view things in a positive light because “the world needs it.”
Texas State’s Greek Life is modifying traditional activities to stay safe during the pandemic. Yulisa Enriquez, a junior and chief membership officer of Texas State Chi Beta Delta, explained that while events such as bid day might be different this year, the organization can still have fun.
“Bid day is going to be different but better. I think it’s going to be something we really look forward to because we haven’t really seen each other in a long time,” Enriquez said. “It’s also going to be different because we have to wear masks and social distance.”
In previous years, Chi Beta Delta has conducted in-person rush events and spoken to students on the Quad who may be interested. This year the sorority will be taking more precautions when it comes to recruitment, limiting its members on the Quad to staying under the organization tent as opposed to moving around freely.
The sorority’s goal this year is to ensure everything is as fun and safe as possible, while also encouraging people to join.
“We want to welcome a good size class during this time, so we can’t wait to see how that’s going to turn out,” Enriquez said. “We’ll be doing everything we can to make this happen.”
Student Association for Campus Activities (SACA) is an organization that plans social gatherings for Texas State students and is involved in huge events such as homecoming. SACA President Brianna Mascorro says SACA had an early start in adjusting to COVID-19 by hosting virtual events last spring.
“SACA adapted to that change by moving our recurring events and large scale events to a virtual delivery method,” Mascorro said. “We’ll be focusing more on trying to provide a virtual and hybrid event for the beginning of the fall, and then try some small intentional in-person events with health and safety protocols based on CDC guidelines and Texas State’s Roadmap to Return.”
SACA’s General Event Coordinator Emily Tindol says the organization still plans to hold events for homecoming, but they will be different to adhere to the university’s health and safety guidelines.
“Some of the events throughout the week will be virtual or modified all together to take appropriate safety precautions,” Tyndall said. “Our soapbox derby is our longest standing tradition at Texas State, and we hope to be able to host this event, but in order to do so, we will be enforcing CDC guidelines for all the participants to ensure the safety for everyone involved.”
SACA still remains present and is looking to provide entertainment in the best way it can this fall semester. The organization is also encouraging students to get involved and participate.
“Our goal is to make a nationwide network,” Tyndall said. “We’re also aiming to make involvement in SACA, as a member, a more engaging process.”
For more information regarding on-campus organizations and clubs follow them on social media or check out their websites.

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