VLS holds first virtual Student Organization Fair

By Forum staff

On Friday, Sept. 15, VLS clubs and organizations gathered on Teams for the school’s first virtual Student Organization Fair. This gave new and returning students an opportunity to connect with student organizations, despite classes being held virtually for the fall semester.

The Fighting Swans Ice Hockey Team was one of the student organizations at the fair. The Team is one of several sports groups on campus.

The Team usually has about 15 students, but is currently unable to meet due to VLS moving all classes and activities online. Unlike some of the other clubs, the Team’s activities are geared more towards meeting in-person.

If given permission by the school, the Team is eager to get together, explained 3L Nicholas Clemente. The Team hopes to get back to playing in January and wants to fit as many games into the schedule as possible. There is also the worry that if they are given the green light in the spring to start meeting, that a lot of players will still not return to campus. If that does occur, they are currently brainstorming ideas on how to keep the club active with a smaller team. Clemente also said that they may have to reduce the size of the team due to possible COVID-19 restrictions anyways.

The Environmental Law Society (ELS) is a student group that focuses on environmental law issues locally, nationally, and globally. ELS is able to work with members remotely, and therefore can continue operating with fewer modifications than organizations that rely more on in-person participation.

“We host guest speakers who educate us on their specialized fields and interests in regards to environmental law,” explained 2L Carolyn Clark, co-chair of ELS. “We also have committees focusing on community outreach, ELS alumni outreach, guest speaker recruitment, and work in the Vermont state legislature.”

Clark said the student group fair generated positive interest and that several people stopped by ELS’ Teams channel. Describing the effects of COVID-19 on the organization, she said, “COVID has definitely impacted us because it limits our events and obviously we cannot have in-person meetings.”

Women’s Law Society (WLS) also participated in the Student Organization Fair. WLS is “a safe place for anyone to talk and be supported in,” said Christina Cambria, 2L and Treasurer of WLS. “We have discussions about different social topics, pertaining to women and women’s issues. We also have movie nights twice a month!”

Cambria noted that, like all the student groups on campus, COVID-19 has impacted WLS’ activities. “We have continued on Teams…we had to move our annual auction to the spring, but are excited to use this time to find some good prizes.” She said the student group fair was a good way for people to stop by and get to know the group.

When asked about what prospective newcomers need to know about WLS, Cambria said “we are a low-commitment group that is a safe place for all types of discussion; respect is key.”

At the SBA meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 29, SBA President Heather Francis reported that some of the student groups did not receive any inquiries. Soon, the SBA will send out information about each organization so that students can still get involved.

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