How societies are adapting to remote learning

Most King’s societies will be fully online, but all are prepared to make sure that this isn’t a wasted year.

The majority of societies will be operating online-only this year and will be reinventing their plans. We talked to a few groups on campus to get their plans for the upcoming year.

King’s Student Union

The King’s Student Union is ensuring that they can properly support societies, funding, and meetings online for the year, and are looking ahead to a virtual election.

The KSU has already been operating Council over Zoom for the summer, they plan on holding all of their meetings over Zoom this year. The Council schedule has been posted. These meetings will be at 5 p.m. Atlantic on Sundays and are open to all students.

The Annual General Meeting is being held on Sept. 17th at 6 p.m. Atlantic over Zoom—over a month earlier than the normal November date.

KSU President Levi Clarkson says that the schedule is pushed up to accommodate the fall council elections.

“For the elections to be online, there do need to be multiple bylaw changes,” says Clarkson to The Watch. “This is the first online election we’ve done, and we need to vote on changes before anything can happen. The Chief Returning Officer and Bylaw Review Committee will be working hard to ensure we can accommodate all students, and changes will be voted on at the AGM.”

Clarkson says that many parts of their services are put into hard spots, and it is likely that there will be some hiccups. One issue they have thought about in particular is tech concerns.

“We have a premium Zoom account that can allow up to 100 participants, far above our quorum,” says Clarkson. “I am concerned that we might have more attendance than we are used to because it is online. 

“We likely won’t have in person events this semester,” says Clarkson. “We are just trying to make sure that our O-Week turns out well, and see what we can do from there. Things are going to be more limited than they were in the past, but we are going to ensure that students are engaged in what we are doing.”

You can best find the KSU on their Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

Day Students’ Society

The Day Students’ Society is different this year, but they are taking this opportunity to thrive. They have a full slate of events for O-week, and are already looking ahead to events for the wider student community.

DSS Communications Vice-President Alex Jackman says that the society is looking to increase outreach this year.

“We really want to make sure that we are connected to what students want and need,” says Jackman. She says that they have opened up a Discord server for students to chat with each other, a Spotify for students to have isolation playlists, and has set up a delivery playlist for day students in quarantine.

“We have virtual meet and greets, virtual BBQ’s, online trivia [as a part of O-week],” says Jackman. “We’re hoping to extend that more broadly to upper year students … to keep everyone together.”

“Students have identified that, if possible, we can do socially distanced events, that’s what they want,” says Jackman. The DSS wants to aim for an in-person event either on King’s campus or around the Halifax area, but don’t have any specific plans as of yet.

DSS President Emma Oliver spoke to The Watch about their elections, and how they plan to proceed with the year.

Oliver emailed the schedule for elections by email:

“By-Election (for non-first-year-rep-positions, President, Internal Vice President, Communications Vice President, & Financial Vice President):

  • Nomination Packages distributed on September 14th
  • Nomination Packages due on September 21st
  • Voting (tentatively, though it will be online) on September 24th & 25th
  • New executive announced September 28th (or shortly thereafter)”

The best way to interact with the DSS is over their multiple social channels, but they have also set up an email list for those that aren’t on social media.

Contributed: King’s Day Students’ Society

King’s Theatrical Society

The King’s Theatrical Society are cancelling both their fall season and Classics in the Quad this year to keep everyone safe, but don’t count them out yet.

The society executive, who have all continued on past their original year-long mandate mandate, had pursued that possibility of having a show in the quad, but has since reconsidered.

“We decided it would be best to put the health of students first, and use this time for growth in our society,” says society president Noah Harrison. “We also thought it would best to make sure we can serve all students properly—both in and out of province.”

Harrison says they still need to plan more, but the KTS hopes that they can go online for some shows.

“We’re still hoping to run Infringement (student-written fringe festival) in a bit of a different way this year,” says Harrison. “We might move the timeline up to the Fall for it, and it would be all online. Our space could be used to record, we would help with all of the production as always, and it should run smoothly.”

The KTS’s theatre space,The Pit, will reportedly get a much needed upgrade this year in the form of an accessible elevator. More details to follow on this.

You can find the KTS on Facebook and Instagram.

UKing’s Theatrical Society

The UKing’s Literary Society (formerly known as the Haliburton Society) is planning to continue their bi-weekly meetings via Zoom.Their first meeting is on Wednesday Sept. 9 at 8 p.m. Atlantic.

Society president Lucy Boyd spoke to The Watch about their upcoming event: “this meeting will be two fold—we plan to have both student readings and election of our officers. We’re looking for members to fill the roles of communications officer, historian, and member at large.”

They will also have elections for first year representative at a later date. 

Boyd says that she is hopeful that the Live Poets events can continue this year, but not quite how it would look in the past.

“We hope to combine Live Poets with our regular meetings,” says Boyd. “We will have a poet come on a Zoom call, read selections of their work, and take questions. Afterward, they can either stay or go, and the rest of the time will be spent on our regular readings.”

Boyd says that she hopes the society can continue to grow on their success last year, and are open to new things on the road ahead.

You can find Ukings Lit on their Instagram and Twitter.

History of Science and Technology Society

The History of Science and Technology (HOST) Society says that they’re adapting to online and expecting a great year.

“This isn’t going to be a throw away year for us,” says society president Megan Krempa. “We’re a small society, but we know that this year will be critical for our growth.”

Krempa says that their regular programming will be transferred onto Zoom, so they don’t have a lot of safety protocols to follow.

Their first event of the year will be a make-your-own fossil science experiment. “It will remind a lot of students of childhood science projects,” says Krempa. “We want to bring back the fun and curiosity back to science and [the] history of science. We also think that the event will be a low stress way to wind down from the first two weeks of classes.”

Some plans include continuing to do FYP announcements through video

The society elected their executive over the summer, and they say they don’t have formal plans for their fall AGM yet, but they are on their way.

Their fossil event will be on the evening of September 17th, but more information is still to be released. Check their social media closer to the event for details, and find a Zoom link on their Facebook event beforehand.

They can be found primarily on their Facebook.

World University Service of Canada, King’s Chapter

WUSC King’s is also moving their operations online this year, and will focus mostly on educating students about refugee matters.

WUSC sponsors a refugee to study at King’s every two years. Last year was a sponsor year, so they will spent this year on advocacy and education in regards to refugee matters.

Looking at their Facebook is the best place to keep up-to-date with what they are doing.

Multiple societies did not get back to us by time of publishing. Please reach out to us if you are not represented on this page, we would love to add you.

By David J. Shuman

David is the current editor-in-chief of The Watch and writes on student issues and events. Find him on Twitter: @DavidJShuman

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