Kar Wei Cheng
Like most campus events, the annual Blu’s Organizations Bash will look a little different this year.
As a safety precaution against COVID-19, the Fall 2020 BOB will be held virtually via the university’s Activities, Involvement and Leadership YouTube channel.
Campus organizations and clubs were given the opportunity to submit 30-90 second recruitment videos for publication on the channel. These videos will be made available on Wednesday and will remain available for viewing through the remainder of the semester.
Joann Martin, coordinator of student activities, said the new format will ultimately benefit the students.
“It’s such an important event,” Martin said. “Having BOB every semester gives any and every student the opportunity to reevaluate what they want to do on this campus.”
Some students might feel as though they have “missed their opportunity” to learn about and join any student organizations if they are unable to attend in-person BOB, Martin explained.
Martin said the new format will give students an extended amount of time to consider joining new organizations, rather than a small window.
Aside from making BOB more accessible for attending students, Martin also said the new virtual format allows for more student organizations to participate. Typically, around 95 booths are available to student organizations at in-person BOB.
Virtually, however, over 100 student organizations have been able to submit recruitment videos.
“It looks different this year,” Martin said. “We’ve really needed to adapt how students orgs can function safely.”
Emma Steiler, a fourth-year business management student and representative of UW-Eau Claire’s Photography Club, said the fall BOB is “by far” the club’s best recruitment tool.
Despite the changes, Steiler said she does not believe it is the new format of the event that will impact recruitment — it’s the pandemic.
“I think most students are probably less interested in participating in student organizations with the current climate,” Steiler said. “However, I’m hoping that those students that are interested in joining any student organizations will visit the YouTube channel UWEC Activities kindly organized for us … and since we included our contact information in our video, those that would like can find us and connect.”
One thing virtual BOB will be lacking, Steiler said, is the face-to-face interaction.
“The in-person event allows for our executive board members to have a joint conversation with students not yet a part of the organization,” Steiler said. “We can make one-on-one personal connections with them and, that way, they can get a feel as to what type of people run the organization.”
Though the new format might offer some complications, Martin said she is ultimately anticipating a good turnout. She said she has noticed some student organizations putting in more effort and reverting to old recruitment tactics in order to accommodate for the new situation on campus.
Martin said no plans have been made in regards to the Spring 2021 BOB.
Students interested in participating in virtual BOB or learning more about campus organizations can visit the UW-Eau Claire Activities, Involvement and Leadership Facebook page. More information can be found in the form of posters around campus or on the university’s master calendar.
Fuerstenberg can be reached at [email protected]