14 Student Organizations That Have Gone The Distance During COVID-19

Posted by Sunshyne Lynch and Allison Khin on May 12, 2021

The last year has been not normal, to say the least, but here at Binghamton, our students have triumphed at adapting their clubs and organizations to work within a more digital world. Here are just some organizations that have excelled during these unusual times.

Alpha Phi Omega

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Est. 2000

Mission: Alpha Phi Omega (APO) is a national coeducational service organization founded on the principles of leadership, fellowship and service. It provides its members the opportunity to develop leadership skills as they volunteer on their campus, in their community, to the nation and to the organization. 

How has your organization adapted to COVID-19? 

We have moved leadership and fellowship events to be conducted over Zoom. We have been able to do online service in addition to continuing in-person service. Brothers that do in-person service wear masks and practice safety protocol to ensure they are healthy while serving the community. One of the in-person volunteering opportunities that we hosted was ‘Miles for Matias’ to raise money for pediatric MS, and we are about to hold a fundraiser for the Binghamton Rescue Mission. -- Lauren Metzdorffp, Vice President of Membership

Updates: For more about APO, follow them on Instagram or Facebook.

Philippine American League (PAL)

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Est. 1989

Mission: To learn about and spread throughout Binghamton the Filipino values, history, culture and overall liveliness of our people through hosted events, given information, and collaborating with other organizations to celebrate each other and our diversity 

How has your organization adapted to COVID-19?

We have made our in-person events more socially distanced, limited in attendance, and some were held outdoors to allow for more comfortability. Besides our in-person events, we’ve reformed our most-attended events to an online format. For example, the biggest cultural showcase on campus which we host, Barrio Fiesta, has changed to our very first high-budgeted, Barrio Movie. And to increase our retention with our members, we had raffles/prizes for our events. We formatted our general body into PAL families that would be easier to hang out within smaller groups. Other events have included Bubble Tea Social, Family Feud, Educational Events over Zoom and Apple Picking. -- Nickolas De Dios (Social Chair) and Jaye Be Lapido (Remote Barrio Intern)

Updates: For more about the PAL, follow them on Instagram or Facebook.

Binghamton Cheese Club

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Est. 2018

Mission: To spread the knowledge and enjoyment of all types of cheeses to all students

How has your organization adapted to COVID-19?

We have adapted by transitioning from our usual cheese distributions to virtual events, as well as collaborating with many other clubs to throw virtual events with a mix of a cheese theme and the other club! We also have been able to have a few in-person distribution events whenever permitted and safely able to do so! Some our more notable events include our annual Muenster Mash Halloween event, Trivia and Jackbox game nights, Among Us Collab with Mafia Club, in-person cheese distribution for our GIM, cheese board making tutorials and much more! -- Eric Matson (Secretary)

Updates: For more about Cheese Club, follow them on Instagram or Facebook.

Girls Who Code

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Est. 2019

Mission: Girls Who Code is a national nonprofit organization working to close the gender gap in the technology and engineering sectors. The programs work to inspire, educate and equip girls with the computing skills needed to pursue 21st-century opportunities. 

How has your organization adapted to COVID-19?

Girls Who Code has remained successful in helping young women learn about programming and increasing the number of women in the STEM workforce. The women have also extended the program to middle-school and high-school students. Despite holding all of their meetings and events virtually, their sponsors thought that the students’ projects were the best they had ever seen. One student from the organization was able to simulate a COVID-19 tracker and worked with Binghamton faculty advisor Hiroki Sayama. The students have held three classes every Saturday for 10 weeks this semester: one for middle schoolers, one for high schoolers and one for advanced high school students. They also attend local events such as Girl Scout STEM Day and Engineer’s Week. -- Michelle Pao (Marketing Manager) and Jennifer Seibert (Lead Teaching Instructor for Advanced Python)

Updates: For more about Girls Who Code, follow them on Facebook.

Harpur Harpeggios (The Pegs)

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Est. 1983

Mission: The Harpur Harpeggios are Binghamton University’s only all soprano-alto a cappella group.

How has your organization adapted to COVID?

We have not had in-person rehearsals, but rather held virtual sectionals over Zoom in order to learn new music. We hold weekly announcements via Zoom to keep the whole group updated with plans and logistics. Instead of having our normal in-person semester show, last semester we held a “virtual semester show,” where we made music videos to three songs and uploaded them to our YouTube channel. We are doing the same thing this semester!

Updates: For more about The Pegs, follow them on Instagram or Facebook.

Bangali Student Association (BSA)

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Est. 2019

Mission: To thrive on the celebration of the rich Bangali culture in hopes to provide a safe space and foster a community of Bangali students and those interested in Bangali culture. The Bangali Student Association aims to share this with the Binghamton University community through different educational, cultural and social events.

How has your organization adapted to COVID-19?

Although this pandemic was hard for a lot of us, we still found our way to keep BSA active by having online events. We've met many new members and connected through social media, group chats and Zoom. We all bonded together, spent quality time virtually, and supported one another while going through difficult situations during this pandemic. This year, the BSA has held events such as a Paint n Sip, Speed Dating Collaboration with UConn BSA and Zoom movie nights. We're a big family, whether in person or online, and we will always be there for each other. -- Jannatul Naima (Intern)

Updates: For more about the BSA, follow them on Instagram or Facebook.

PwC Scholars

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Est. 1980

Mission: To build the next generation of future business leaders through academic excellence, professionalism, community service and unique networking opportunities. 

How has your organization adapted to COVID-19?

We have moved all of our activities and events to be either virtual or hybrid events, following COVID-19 guidelines. We have been able to connect with alums from the PwC Scholars Program that aren't normally involved when we conduct in-person events. We have also been able to invite speakers who aren't able to take the time to travel to Binghamton. This has provided a lot more flexibility for students in the program to meet its requirements. Programs we have led this year include town halls, Speaker Series with various Binghamton University community members, various social events, as well as our annual community service projects with Gigi's Playhouse of the Southern Tier and the American Civic Association.

Updates: For more about PwC Scholars, follow them on Instagram or Facebook.

Hillel-Jewish Student Unions (Hillel-JSU)

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Est. 2001

Mission: Enriching the lives of Jewish students so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world

How has your organization adapted to COVID-19?

Hillel has adapted to the pandemic by going entirely virtual in an effort to keep their members safe. They have remained connected through weekly virtual meetings, even over the course of winter break, and have continued to work for their community. Over the last eight months, Hillel-JSU has hosted 165 events, including hundreds of small pod-based Shabbat dinners, as well as partnerships  with other organizations on campus for both interfaith and multicultural events: InterVarsity Christian Fellowship Celebrating Diversity Panel; Queer Jeopardy with SHADES, OSTEM, and Transcend; the BUIC COVID Commemoration Ceremony; and MRC's Holiday Bingo event. In addition, over 250 people attended our virtual Aroma Cafe event. While COVID-19 has presented challenges, we have overcome them in order to serve our community when we are needed the most.  -- Anna Dlott (President)

Updates: For more about the Hillel, follow them on Instagram or Facebook.

Indian International Student Union (IISU)

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Est. 1986

Mission: The Indian International Student Union (IISU) was established as a student organization committed to the enrichment of culture, development of unity and the celebration of South Asian traditions.

How has your organization adapted to COVID-19?

Our organization normally brings hundreds of students, faculty and more together in the Anderson Center for our blockbuster show Tamasha. However, the pandemic did not stop the performance. Our students adapted their show into an online format by filming their acts while remaining COVID-compliant to deliver a successful show. We have also held multiple events with other SA organizations, including an outdoor Bollywood movie night with the Hindu Student Council, a collaboration with the Latin American Student Union about conservatism in our cultures, and more. -- Samragyee De (President)

Updates: For more about the IISU, follow them on Instagram or Facebook.

Binghamton Buddies

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Est. 2015

Mission: Binghamton Buddies is designed to connect Binghamton University students with BOCES students. BOCES consists of a set of alternative education programs for students K-12 who have been removed from mainstream public schools for behavioral, social and academic issues. Binghamton Buddies as individuals are to support and improve the experiences of the students with whom they work by tutoring them, conversing with them and showing them that they have worth. Binghamton Buddies are to serve as role models, to inspire the students so that they themselves will work to graduate on time, continue their education as they see fit, prepare for careers and become responsible citizens.

How has your organization adapted to COVID-19?

Normally, students would spend two hours a week volunteering in the BOCES classrooms, but because of the pandemic they now do their volunteering virtually. Despite the shift, Binghamton Buddies have continued to be role models and positive help for the BOCES students. Each week, groups of volunteers write Pen Pal letters to the BOCES students as well as make virtual book reading for the classes.  -- Sarah Hamburg (President)

Updates: For more about Binghamton Buddies, follow them on Instagram.

20:1 Prevention Programs

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Est. 2004

Mission: To raise awareness of what constitutes sexual assault, define and explore consent; challenge perspectives and deeply held biases, challenge victim blaming and rape myths, explore and encourage bystander behavior, provide information on how to support victims and highlight available resources both on and off campus

How has your organization adapted to COVID?

We have been using social media as a prominent way to give info, support and outreach, as well as highlighting programming. We have also continued doing sexual assault prevention and bystander intervention programs for Greek Life, athletic groups and student leaders. Our major programs have included our sponsorship of The Clothesline Project and The Dragon Panel Project as well as collaborating with organizations such as DOVE and P.U.L.S.E. -- Kimberly Lenchner (Student Assistant)

Updates: For more about 20:1 Prevention Programs, follow them on Instagram or Facebook.

Note to Self

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Est. 1998

Mission: Note to Self is Binghamton's first and only a cappella group with a specific focus on civic engagement. On campus and off, from soup kitchens to local community centers, they sing and serve throughout the semester, balancing a service mission with musical ambition.

How has your organization adapted to COVID?

When advancing to the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) semifinals for the first time in the group’s history, Normally Note to Self would sing live on stage during the competition. However, due to COVID, they competed by creating a four-minute video that best represents their arrangement of “Ribs” by Lorde. On the philanthropic side of their organization, Note to Self members participated in park cleanups in their respective hometowns and hosted a virtual fundraiser for local food insecurity. 

Updates: For more about Note to Self, follow them on Instagram or Facebook.


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Est. 2010

Mission: TEDxBinghamtonUniversity is devoted to spreading ideas, normally in the form of short, powerful talks.
How has your organization adapted to COVID?
Since COVID, TEDxBinghamtonUniversity held its first-ever hybrid virtual and in-person conference called UNEARTHED. This semester they are holding completely virtual events. In the last year, they have held two conferences, complying with COVID regulations, as well as holding completely virtual events. Their speakers pre-record themselves in the Anderson Center and then they vidoes are premiered to a virtual audience. -- Colleen Nugent (Co-Director)

Updates: For more about TEDxBinghamtonUniversity, follow them on Instagram or Facebook.

American Cancer Society on Campus

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Est. 2002

Mission: American Cancer Society on Campus is a national collaboration of college students, faculty and staff dedicated to fighting cancer, volunteering for the American Cancer Society and improving college communities by instating and supporting programs of the American Cancer Society. Binghamton University’s American Cancer Society on Campus Chapter educates students and the surrounding Binghamton University community about the American Cancer Society, cancer prevention and ways to help support cancer research through various programs. 

How has your organization adapted to COVID 19?

One of the main purposes of the club is to plan and execute Relay For Life annually. Typically, our event would host several hundred students, faculty, staff, family and community members in the campus Events Center. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, we have had to transform Relay to a completely virtual format. All of our planning meetings have been held over Zoom, and our signature events like Kickoff, which celebrates the official beginning of what we like to call "Relay season," were also held online. This led our team to be creative in planning virtual cake-decorating competitions, celebrity-birthday-themed kahoots and other initiatives. This year, we are incredibly excited to have held a walk-through Luminaria event, where event attendees were able to walk through the Spine decorated with Luminaria bags. These bags are decorated by event attendees each year to celebrate and remember their loved ones diagnosed with cancer. -- Laura Koszer (Executive Director of Relay For Life, VP of ACS On Campus)

Updates: For more about American Cancer Society on Campus, follow them on Instagram or Facebook.

Sunshyne Lynch is an English major with a minor in women, gender and sexuality studies. She also works as an intern with the Office of Media and Public Relations. 

Allison Khin is an intern in the Office of Media and Public Relations and a senior majoring in English Rhetoric. She loves scrolling on social media, listening to Queen, and watching "The West Wing."

Have questions, comments or concerns about the blog? Email us at social@binghamton.edu.