COVID-19 has had bad repercussions for university clubs across the nation. Suddenly, spaces where students could gather and socialize had to be closed, clubs’ operations were constrained, and university administration placed limits on the functions of clubs to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Officers and club members are expected to follow stringent rules if they
want their clubs to operate during this pandemic. Some clubs have decided to postpone their activities until they can resume usual operations. Other clubs have taken on the challenge and continue to run, even during the pandemic.
One of the clubs that has risen to the challenge is Eagle Aero Sport. The club is “building an airplane and adding our own sensors and data acquisition devices so that we can study the plane’s performance,” Eden Pfanner, one of the club members, beamed. Unfortunately, what was once a huge group project has now become an activity limited to a small number of people:
“Before COVID, the meetings were held in classrooms or in AXFAB. We all got together as a team and also met with our sub teams. Now, our only in-person meetings are to work on building the plane, with a limited amount of people in the hangar. Meetings that don’t involve building are held virtually,” said Pfanner.
One of the hardships the club is facing this semester is a lower frequency of build sessions, “…so it is hard to communicate and accomplish more minor tasks effectively,” commented Pfanner. Their communication is also suffering, which reflects in their ability to complete even minor tasks. The progress of their project has slowed down dramatically.
When asked how she felt about the new way of functioning of her club, Pfanner responded that she felt like the club “is not as effective as how it functioned in the past. We can’t get as much of the plane built with the majority of the club being virtual.” She is, however, optimistic that the club will be able to survive the pandemic and return to regular functioning,
stating that “Eagle Aero Sport will definitely be sticking around. The members are determined to see this plane fly, even if it takes a little longer to do so due to COVID restrictions.”