Last year was a harsh time for student clubs, especially performance clubs, as the quarantine guidelines restricted the members gathering in groups of three. Ewha Voice dug into the current situation of performance clubs to find out how they are adjusting to the situation.
SABOTAGE is a band club founded after the COVID-19 outbreak. At the time of its beginning, four people could meet, and even five people wereallowed to practice together. However, due to the level four social distancing, the ban on the gathering of more than three people has continued for a long time.
“We have never been able to practice together since the level four social distancing applied,” said Kim Ga-yeon, a member of SABOTAGE. “As an alternative, we practice individually with our own instruments and upload cover videos on YouTube.”
ACTION is an official dance club of Ewha. The school practice room was available for a large number of people to practice together. However, the room is now closed. Since they practice with a smaller number of people, there are more teams, so the cost of renting a practice room to film dance videos is extremely high.
In addition to the financial burden, Kim Ju-hee, the president of ACTION, explained that the club is facing difficulties regarding the decreased solidarity within the club and uncertainty about regular events.
“When planning and preparing activities, we cannot predict how the spread of the stage of COVID-19 will affect us at the time of the performance. So we do not know when the performance will be canceled.” Kim said.
The most serious problem with many performance clubs, including SABOTAGE and ACTION, is the low participation rate of the members.
“Before the COVID-19 outbreak, basically all members of the club participated in the activities,” Kim said. “However, each person has a different opinion on balancing the safety measures regarding the pandemic and club activities. Therefore, we check the number of participants in each activity when preparing for it.”
Despite many difficulties, clubs are preparing for the fall semester and also the future when the pandemic may not be fully resolved.
“We are planning to focus on practicing our instruments with new members,” said Kim, a member of SABOTAGE. “We are going to practice together when the level four social distancing is eased later. When COVID-19 is over, and when we are satisfied with our skills, I want to plan the live performance and watch them in person not only through YouTube.”
ACTION is preparing for regular performances as much as possible. Before the pandemic, there were main events such as regular live performances, but there has been no event except for one guest performance.
“We cannot miss out on the club’s biggest event for two whole years," said Kim, the president of ACTION. "So we are preparing for it even if wehave to change from offline to online right before the performance. I want to hold regular performances so that the 24th generation members who entered ACTION this year and 23rd generation members who have not been able to do many activities face- to-face can feel included as members.”