Lunch with Friends Continues in Quarantine

Rio club maintains an inclusive environment, even on a virtual platform.

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Photo By Taylor White

Students from various grades and programs meet via Zoom to connect and socialize.

Taylor White and Emily Borg

Most school activities have come to a halt since the shelter in place order has been enforced.  Simple actions like going to class, playing a sport, and seeing friends have become nonexistent; however despite the new reality, one club has continued to meet during the lockdown. 

The club, Lunch with Friends, meets on Zoom at 12 pm every Thursday. Senior Tatum White, the club’s president, describes Lunch with Friends as a club where all students can come together to talk, hang out with friends and meet new people. 

The club has special education and general education students and according to White its main goal is to create an inclusive environment for all students on campus. 

Before quarantine the group would meet together to talk about the week and discuss the day’s activity. This activity would range from doing origami to decorating cookies.  

Now that quarantine has been set in place the club has taken their meetings online. White described some of the struggles that have begun due to the virus, saying that the club has not fully adjusted but is still trying to make each meeting high energy and fun.

“The main challenge that we face is how to conduct meetings where the activities don’t require a lot of hands on work,” White said. “The club before quarantine was very hands-on and was sociable.” 

Usually, the meetings are a loving and welcoming environment full of hugs and high fives. This social aspect of the club has changed due to the coronavirus. 

Another struggle that the club has undergone was the varying amount of people that attend the meetings. Lunch with Friends had initial success from day one, with 40 to 50 people attending each week. These numbers have changed significantly with now 25 to 30 people joining the online meeting. 

The club still meets on the same day as before through the online platform, Zoom. This platform allows for multiple people to be added on to a single call similar to Facetime. 

With the new way of connecting to classmates and friends the club tries to maintain times to meet that are consistent to others schedules and club meetings.

“We try to keep the meetings the same but it’s proved to be a difficult task due to how interactive and hands-on we were,” said White. “As a result we can no longer do the majority of the activities we would usually have planned.”

Despite these challenges, the club has remained positive. 

Now meetings begin with talking about classes and catching up with one another. The activities consist of dance battles, show and tell, and rap battles as well. 

The club plans on continuing Zoom meetings on a weekly basis until June 3. The club is welcome to anyone that wants to join for a meeting. If you would like to attend a meeting, you can email Tatum White.

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