Michael Watkins/ Courier The CC building on the Pasadena City College Campus on February 28, 2018.
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Since PCC’s campus closure, its usually crowded classrooms and packed hallways are now reminiscent of a ghost town. The rooms where club officials used to meet in droves to discuss the exciting events they had planned for the semester are empty. Students who were once able to participate in extracurricular clubs on campus are now left to entertain themselves in their homes, far from the hustle and bustle that once existed. 

Extracurricular clubs at PCC are unable to meet in person as a result of the COVID-19 induced campus closure. This will prevent club members from participating in activities and completing their community service requirements, which clubs currently depend upon to receive funding.

PCC’s Associated Students (ASPCC) is in charge of governing the student body at the college. ASPCC is currently working to assist clubs in meeting remotely and is planning to introduce multiple measures to accommodate clubs in this time of need. 

The committee is working to alter Inter Council Club guidelines to grant Christopher Theung, the executive vice president of ASPCC, emergency powers. This would allow Theung to introduce and pass measures without requiring a committee vote to do so. This action is intended to help necessary changes occur more swiftly.

According to Theung, once he is granted emergency powers he will suspend the community service requirement for clubs. He is also brainstorming ways to make use of the funds that will be left over from this semester’s lack of club events for clubs in the fall. 

“I will provide a stimulus package come fall, so they will have some money in the bank to start up the club, no strings attached, no service hours required, so that they can kind of hit the ground running, and kind of use it as a morale boost after we were all shut out from school,” Theung explained. 

Some clubs have opted to continue to meet through online platforms such as ConferZoom, which can involve fees. According to Theung, that will no longer be an issue once he is granted emergency powers. 

“If people need money to pay for Zoom subscriptions, or online remote subscriptions during this time, I’m open to that,” Theung said. 

The Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA), a club at PCC, has been successful in moving club meetings online. This is due in part to the club’s pre-existing use of WeChat, a Chinese messaging service. 

Peter Yu, the president of CSSA, has been using WeChat to keep club members updated about changes happening locally and on campus as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yu has been actively encouraging those using the group chat to shelter in place to mitigate transmission of the virus. 

“There is a joke in China right now, basically now is the only time you can contribute to society by sitting at home on the couch,” Yu said. “So we’re trying to get people to see that it’s not just yourself to worry about, it’s everybody. So we need to all stay inside.” 

Yu acknowledges that it will be difficult to operate CSSA remotely, especially their annual elections, after which he will be replaced. Despite these challenges, Yu maintains that he is not personally upset by the need to shelter in place.

“I can stay home and just eat and play games and sleep,” Yu said. “So I’m doing okay.”

However, there are those who have been emotionally impacted by the cancellation of club meetings. 

Alice Bundy is the secretary of the Critical Theory Club (CTC). Like many others, CTC has suspended all of their meetings until the campus reopens. 

“A lot of the time, people at PCC are taking classes just to meet a requirement. Clubs are kind of the place where they get to exercise more of their creative or extra-curricular interests. So now that I don’t have that, it’s just back to the requirements, which is annoying,” Bundy explains. “It sucks, because now you don’t have that, and you don’t have any human interaction outside of your family, or whoever you’re living with.” 

For more information about PCC’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, check here.

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