Cal Lutheran clubs find ways to preserve traditions, connect amid pandemic


Contributed by Sarah Wright

(Photo from fall 2019) Delight, a Christian club for college women, is being “intentional” about their meetings as they find their footing in the virtual format.

Jasmine Perez, Reporter

Ventura County’s move to the red tier means clubs at California Lutheran University can reunite in person. Sort of.

In a Zoom interview, Cambria Teter, coordinator of Student Involvement, said club gatherings look a little different this year. “If they are meeting in person, there’s a few things they have to follow, obviously, maintaining like six feet of distance… wearing masks at all times, and everything has to be outside right now.”

Giselle Fernandez, a senior at Cal Lutheran and co-president of the Latin American Student Organization, said this year has been quite different for her club.

“In the previous years, we would table on the Spine during Fall and Spring Involvement fairs to recruit more members. This year, we are using Instagram to share our club and recruit new members,” Fernandez said. “At the beginning of the semester, all of the CLU clubs made an Instagram post for Student Life to post on their page and we had many students follow our account.”

Fernandez said she does get students who follow the LASO Instagram page and ask to be on their email list. She also said many freshmen have joined this year, which makes her hopeful that they will be a part of the club all four years.

Fernandez said LASO meets two times a month and they haven’t thought about in-person meetings, as many members are at home and out of the area.

Fernandez said LASO hosts two events every fall semester: Dia de los Muertos and Las Posadas.

“We are doing a limited capacity in-person [Dia de los Muertos] event at the chapel where we will have an altar set up inside the sanctuary. Outside in the labyrinth, we will have tables spread out to have face mask decorating,” Fernandez said. “Usually, for this event, face-painting is a must-have to celebrate Dia de Los Muertos, so we did not want to miss that this semester.”

Instead of face painting, LASO is supplying white face masks for people to decorate with Dia de Los Muertos designs. They will also show the movie Coco to end the night.

The event will be held Nov. 1 at 5:30 p.m., outside Samuelson Chapel.

Junior Sarah Wright, is the director of Delight, “a nationwide ministry for college women that embraces community and growing together,” according to the Campus Ministry website

Wright said in a phone interview that Delight meets every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. on Zoom. She said social media has been a helpful tool for reaching out to new girls, as Delight has recruited new members from every grade level.

Wright said last semester they were still trying to figure out how virtual meetings could work, but now they are in the rhythm of it.

“So for us, it’s just then being really intentional about our time and still making it a meaningful discussion,” Wright said. “So we, yeah, so we’re on Zoom every week. And with that, we break into breakout rooms, small group conversations.”

Wright said the club has done virtual events such as hosting a Netflix party and they are going to be hosting a baking tutorial with the other girls who can join and bake from home.

Wright said she wants to create an environment where everyone feels included.

Teter said if clubs do plan to do in-person events or meetings, the adviser should be present.

“The maximum gathering size right now that’s been implemented is 28. so we’re asking that if… there are more than 28 members in your club, like on campus, or wanting to meet in person, that you do defer to Zoom meetings.”

Teter said students who do come to campus for in-person meetings aren’t required to be tested for COVID-19, but Cal Lutheran encourages students to get tested throughout the semester whether they live on campus or not.

Teter said Cal Lutheran is offering on-campus testing Oct. 21 and Oct. 22.

Teter said Student Involvement isn’t planning ahead for next semester yet because they still don’t know if there could be another surge in COVID-19 cases that changes public health guidelines.