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Boise State clubs undergo major changes in an effort to adapt to new semester guidelines

Photo courtesy of Jedi Academy at Boise State (JAABS)

Before the changes to in-person meetings, the Jedi Academy at Boise State (JAABS) used to hold bi-weekly in-person meetings to choreograph fight scenes, film YouTube videos and create public performances for events like Bronco Day, the Boise State Homecoming Parade and Boise Comic Arts Festival.

Zachary Berreth, junior english major and president of JAABS, has worked around the obstacles the club has faced due to COVID-19. 

Due to the uncertainty and health risks the fall semester brings, JAABS does not have any plans to conduct in-person meetings. 

“A lot of what we do is physical. We could work on story elements and roleplay stuff from a Zoom format, but because so much of what we do is physical, it’s really hard to do a whole lot,” Berreth said. 

JAABS conducts a lot of roleplaying, which often consists of original characters created by students. The club also offers new opportunities to students who are interested in screenplay writing, filmography and choreography. Berreth encourages students of all talents to join JAABS. 

“There are people in the club that don’t really know a whole lot about Star Wars. There are people in the club that have never even seen a Star Wars movie. They just show up to swing sticks around and hang out with friends,” Berreth said.

Junior English major and President of the Creative Writing Club Tomio Fujino has worked diligently to ensure a fun and positive experience for those participating in the Creative Writing Club. 

Before COVID-19, the club held weekly in-person meetings which encouraged students to write, socialize and inspire. However, with recent events, Fujino must take a different approach to creative writing by holding meetings over Discord. 

Similar to Zoom, Discord allows students to connect via video, audio and messaging. While Discord has allowed Creative Writing Club to communicate and engage, there has been a decline in student participation, according to Fujino. 

“It certainly has slowed us quite a bit. Though we have a few new members, many are not active anymore. But we do look forward to the fall semester and hopefully, we can get it up and running again with either Discord calls or Zoom calls,” Fujino said. 

Fujino expressed that Creative Writing Club welcomes anyone who loves to write or those who want to socialize with others as well. 

“Creative Writing Club is a club that has dedicated itself to writing and creativity. However, that is not exactly its limitations. We are here, primarily, to socialize as well as write. If you want to hang out, then stop on by,” Fujino said. “Even if you don’t think of yourself as a great writer, that doesn’t matter. We are here to have fun together especially during these trying times.”

Sophomore psychology major and President of Bronco Dogs Alexandria Sutherland has experienced the differences COVID-19 has brought over the summer. Bronco Dogs welcomes all students who have a service dog, are interested in service dogs or want to know more information. Bronco Dogs’ purpose is to educate and advocate for service dogs in the Treasure Valley. 

Luckily, Bronco Dogs can hold in-person meetings during the fall semester, as long as masks are worn by all participants and social distancing is taking place. Currently, Bronco Dogs meets every Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the quad. 

“If [students] are interested and wanting to learn more about service dogs and also want to help advocate and educate their community around them, they are welcome to join,” Sutherland said.  

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