With the revision of the Fall semester regarding on-campus activities, club executives want to make sure that the college life experience is still of high quality for the Penn student body while interacting and sharing experiences in a safe and productive way.
While faculty are busy designing new recordings and interactive elements for their students, the Division of the Vice Provost for University Life, the Office of Student Affairs, the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships, and the College Houses have designed new ways for student groups and cohorts to connect online and hold virtual events.
“Wharton Council and Wharton Undergraduate Division will be hosting our virtual club fair on the Campus Groups platform,” says Lee Kramer, director of student life at the Wharton School. “Campus Groups is our club platform for Wharton undergraduate and MBA clubs.”
The fair will open on Friday, Sept. 4 and will be open for 24 hours to accommodate students in different time zones around the world. The live chat function will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. EDT on the 4th and from 9 to 11 a.m. on Sept. 5.
Wharton rising senior Vraj Shrof, says due to COVID-19, club executives such as himself have been worried about being able to reach out to freshmen and effectively organize events for the student body.
“To aid in safely engaging the student community with extra-curriculars, I am currently working with a team that has built a virtual platform where clubs and other organizations can hold events for students,” he says.
The platform provides an interface for all events to be in one place. Students can filter events, learn more about organizations, and join any event. During the event, students can video call, audio call, or simply text club representatives. Students can join a queue for any event to meet their representatives one on one or in a small group setting. Virtual rooms are created and shared automatically by the platform. The platform is made by students, for students.
“We will then use Vraj’s platform for live chats between the club leaders and new students,” Kramer says. “The live chat function will be linked from the Campus Groups platform. For example, if a new student would like to chat with a club leader from Wharton Women, they would go onto the Wharton Women booth in Campus Groups and then follow the link to Vraj’s platform to chat one on one.”
“Personally, joining a student club has played an integral role in my professional and personal development,” Shroff says. “I want to ensure that all the students get that experience even, perhaps especially, during such times.”
Shroff discussed how this platform will work with Penn Today.