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Editorial: Fight social isolation—get involved

It’s not easy to feel like you belong somewhere when the majority of your social interactions take place through a screen.

Dear freshmen and transfer students,

We can’t even imagine having been introduced to Bradley without the in-person activities fair spread throughout the quad. We can’t imagine joining a Greek organization without in-person recruitment. We can’t imagine trying to establish entirely new friendships through masks and social distancing guidelines.

We feel lucky to have experienced what we never knew was at risk of being taken away.

That being said, we understand your disconnect and disengagement. It’s not surprising that Greek recruitment numbers have been low, resulting in so many chapters turning to spring recruitment and continuous open bidding. Though disheartening, we’ve interviewed several student organizations, including ACBU, that admittedly struggled to acquire general members in this virtual climate.

The Scout typically recruits most members at the in-person activities fair; without it, we too are struggling to add to our own staff.

It’s difficult to see this happening, as student organizations are the lifeblood of the college experience, whether they’re social organizations like Sigma Lambda Gamma, volunteer organizations like Wags for Mags, religious organizations like CRU or skill-based organizations like BU-TV.

Through this pandemic, organizations are trying hard not only to retain their members in an online setting but also to gain new ones.

So to the freshmen and new students, or students in general who feel disconnected to Bradley right now — we ask you to give student organizations a chance.

Joining may feel awkward at first, but the sense of connection you’ll gain by sticking with it will be entirely worth it. Tucked away in so many Zoom calls are groups for all interests and niches you didn’t know you wanted to be a part of.

As restrictions loosen and the threat of the pandemic softens, we’ll see these organizations flourish in and around campus once again, hopefully, restored to their former glory. However, waiting until things are “back to normal” will only increase your feelings of disconnect.

If you’re feeling misplaced, disengaged or isolated, we promise there’s a student organization waiting for you and desiring that same connection as well. All you have to do is try.

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The Scout is published by members of the student body of Bradley University. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the University.