How Are Societies Adapting to the New Norm?

With Lockdown 3.0 in action, clubs and societies are still not allowed to have activities or events anywhere on campus. Just like how lectures and seminars have all adapted to the new norm and shifted to online learnings, clubs and societies are also finding creative ways to power through these restrictions and thinking of creative ways to deliver the same value to all their members. As seen from my bio, I am actively involved in the A Cappella Society and also the Malaysian Society in my years in Imperial, so today I will be sharing with you how is it possible for rehearsals and events to be held online.

Singing In Zoom?

The toughest part about having online A Cappella rehearsals is to actually sing in sync with one another. So many issues arose during our rehearsals such as the vocal percussionist being cut off due to their beatboxing being labelled as ‘background noise’ by Zoom or disastrous timings and rhythms by everyone because of the short transmission delay.

We realized that we had to adapt to the situation and shift our focus as well. That is why even though we can’t focus much on perfecting the blending of our sounds or work on singing techniques, we can use this time to instead strengthen our online platforms! Through the past few months, we have been having briefings and socials online, while also discussing about the recordings that we have done throughout the week. People will also film individual videos at their home to be put together into a big collab music video at the end of the day. Even though we don’t get the joy of singing with one another, we are still always proud of the videos we release and have loads of fun making them!

Shameless plug but here is a recent video that we released just about a month ago! The Scopes – All Time Low

Socials have also been a priority this year to counter the lack of human interaction everyone has been receiving this year. Even though we have been trying to find creative ways and play different online games, everyone is happy as long as they can spend more time with one another.

The A Cappella society will also normally have different collaborations between groups throughout the year and we intend to do the same this year as well. Discussions are being made to create a massive music video together and also to have group socials so that new members can get to meet every single person!

Welcoming Freshers Without Meeting Them Physically

Even though I have stepped down from the Malaysian Society committee almost a year ago, I find myself unable to let go of the society still and will gravitate towards their events just to get a sense of home again. That being said, I am constantly and immensely impressed by the creative events that the new batch of committee are always putting out!

Chinese New Year is happening right now and even though we didn’t get to have our annual physical celebration together, members had festive cookies delivered to their doorsteps alongside Deliveroo vouchers. We then ordered Chinese food and celebrated together through Microsoft Teams with a series of games and lucky draws.

I am always counting my blessings because I’m not a fresher this year. I can’t imagine coming to a foreign country with restrictions on making new friends and meeting new people. The Malaysian Society has managed to create buddy families where seniors are encouraged to put in an extra effort to ensure that their kids are able to settle into this new environment easily.

Besides that, even though our annual flagship event – Malaysian Night can’t go on like usual due to the restrictions of holding an event in the Great Hall, the society managed to shift their focus into building an online film to still encourage members to promote our culture and identity while forming lifelong friendships with one another.

In times of hardships, it is amazing to see how we have managed to shift our priorities and executions so quickly to adapt to the new situation. All in all, I do still miss the casual strolls around campus and quick chats when I bump into someone on campus too. Here’s to hoping everything returns to normal soon.

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