“How Scripps PRSSA Stays Connected Throughout COVID-19” by Kaleb Gongwer

It’s no secret this year has been anything but normal. With students not returning back to Athens, it seems like the impossible to keep a campus organization alive. With PRSSA, that hasn’t seemed to be an issue. A Chapter that prides itself on doing more to learn more, Scripps PRSSA executive board members have innovated around COVID-19 in efforts to make the most of our time with each other. From virtual meetings and catch-up socials, to building a stellar back to school playlist, the Scripps kids have successfully digitalized their visions of fun and opportunity.

Summer E-Board Meetings

In order for members to stay connected, Zoom has become the glue of our organization. We were thankfully able to put our heads together over the summer via Zoom to plan out how we want PRSSA to look for the school year. Meeting monthly, we were able to map out some pretty cool ideas that the members could engage with over summer and into the fall semester.

Summer Catch Up Social

This in particular was one of my favorite parts of the summer with PRSSA. It was so nice to be able to see the many familiar faces and converse like human beings. I think this was the point of summer where everyone was going a little stir crazy and craved nothing more than interaction. Members were able to gather via Zoom and tell tales of internship experiences, summer work programs and fun vacation antics. Life felt so simple in that time of uncertainty. This was a great way to kick off the summer season.

Summer Member Spotlights

As networking and booking guest speakers became a little less doable in the summer, it was important to E-board that paying members get their dollars-worth in the Chapter. That’s why we decided to continue our rhythm of member spotlights into the summer months, which was the first time we had ever done this! Members Kyra Leckrone (junior) and Caitlin Engelhardt (senior) were our summer member spotlights in June and July! I remember getting member spotlight my sophomore year, and it was a super nice way for me to become more comfortable with everyone in the Chapter, which encouraged me to put myself out there. I’m so glad the tradition continues with us!

Back to School Playlist

Our Back to School playlist was a collaborative effort of the Executive Board. We wanted to produce a soundtrack for Scripps kids to start the school year off with. So, we threw some of our favorite jams of the summer together. You clearly don’t know me if you think for a second that I wouldn’t have put Britney Spears on this playlist! Members were given the chance to add what they wanted to hear on the playlist and amplified the fun in it all. 

Fall Semester Weekly Meetings 

Remote learning doesn’t stop Scripps PRSSA from staying active together. We continue to meet weekly with the organization and a guest speaker to enhance our experience of networking via video chat. So far, we’ve been fortunate enough to meet with professionals, Jenna Manocchio, Aaron Brown and Shara Glickman to become more familiar with the marketing and agency career paths.

It’s more than apparent that our Chapter has some dedicated members, and it’s a good feeling to be a part of such a fabulous group! I’m very excited to continue this year with everyone because I know it’s going to take more than a pandemic for us to stop connecting. Who knows what our next turn will be in the year of 2020? I can’t say, but I’m pretty sure Scripps PRSSA will be ready for it. Until next time, Bobcats!

Kaleb Gongwer is the VP of Social Affairs for Scripps PRSSA and a junior majoring in communication studies. Follow him on Twitter @MTVkaleb

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