Club Rush comes back on campus

Individuals walk through Club Rush to learn what clubs are looking for members. This is the first Club Rush back on campus since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Nicholas Broadhead/ The Union)
Individuals walk through Club Rush near the Student Services Building to learn what clubs are looking for members on Thursday, Sept. 16. This is the first Club Rush back on campus since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Nicholas Broadhead/ The Union)

After checking into the health kiosk and getting her wrist band, Anamarie Cervantes enters El Camino College for the first time for Club Rush.

“I heard about it through the [colleges] Instagram. They like posted something and I was interested in joining a club,” Cervantes, a psychology major, said.

For many students, the recent Club Rush at El Camino College (ECC) gave them the ability to meet new people not only online through Zoom, but also meet in person on campus.

“A lot of our ASO members, it’s the first time they’ve ever been on campus. I know that I came in virtually, so definitely new,” Andrea Fernandez Cruz, ASO director of public relations said.

Andrea Fernandez Cruz (middle) and two other members of the Associated Students Organization (ASO) stand behind the clubs table. The club gave information to students who wanted to learn more about student government. (Nicholas Broadhead/ The Union)
Andrea Fernandez Cruz (middle) and two other members of the Associated Students Organization (ASO) stand behind the clubs table near the Communications Building on Thursday, Sept. 16. The club gave information to students who wanted to learn more about student government. (Nicholas Broadhead/ The Union)

Even thought it’s Cervantes’ first semester at El Camino College, she said that her first experience on campus has been very nice.

“I think it was really easy, the people were really welcoming and it didn’t feel uncomfortable or anything,” Cervantes said.

Like with students, even clubs like the Esports Club were given the opportunity to meet members and news students on campus for the first time, as the club was recently created this semester and only online interactions were made.

Wolfgang Ozamaki and Shaira Villanueva stand in front of their club booth before Club Rush begins. This is the first Club Rush the newly recreated Esports Club is attending at El Camino College. (Nicholas Broadhead/ The Union)
Wolfgang Okazaki and Shaira Villanueva stand behind their club booth in front of the Student Services Building 45 minutes before Club Rush began on Thursday, Sept. 16. This is the first Club Rush the newly recreated Esports Club is attending at El Camino College. (Nicholas Broadhead/ The Union)

Shaira Villanueva, vice president of Esports club, told the Union that it is exciting for club members who have only been meeting online to meet in person for the first time.

Club Rush also let ECC experiment and keep track with how in person events on campus are going. One way information was recorded was the ASO booth getting students to scan a QR code to a Google Form and filling out their name and email before entering the event.

Fernandez Cruz said that the QR code does not record any personal information, it is just to see who came to the Club Rush.

Students stop by the ASO tent to learn about student government and scan a QR at the table. The QR code that leads to a Google Spreadsheet allows El Camino to see how many students attended the in-person Club Rush. (Nicholas Broadhead/ The Union)
Students stop by the ASO tent next to the Student Services Building to learn about student government and scan a QR code on Thursday, Sept. 16. The QR code leads to a Google Form that students can fill that allows El Camino to see how many students attended the in-person Club Rush. (Nicholas Broadhead/ The Union)

Although there were some on campus opportunities with Club Rush, there were online opportunities as well, as clubs were able to have a Zoom version of Club Rush and have their own rooms to virtually interact with students interested in joining their club.

“I would go to the Esports break out room and if anyone ever joined, I would say ‘hey, how’s it going, you got any question about our club, y’know, what kind of games do you play?’” Wolfgang Okazaki, president of the Esports club told The Union.

Online methods of interaction were prevalent during the pandemic, as Okazaki relied on meeting and interaction sites like Zoom and Discord in order to create and maintain relationships they would have made in person and or on campus.

Wolfgang Okazaki (middle right) and
Wolfgang Okazaki (middle right) and Shaira Villanueva (far right) huddle and share a tent together with members of the Anime Club near the Student Services Building on Thurday, Sept. 16. Students who were interested in the Esports Club were given candy and information on how to join the club. (Nicholas Broadhead/ The Union)

“I have a separate Discord server, a personal server or even just building up relationships with each other, just hanging out, having lots of fun together, that’s been like a main source of spending time with each other and through that we built up relationships and got a lot of people from there who go to El Camino to join Esports Club,” Okazaki said.

If more classes make a return to campus during the spring 2022 semester, it could give students like Cervantes the ability to make more memories on campus with others.

“I do definitely hope everything reopens, like maybe soon to come back to really fully experience it, but as for now I think it was really nice and safe,” Cervantes said.