Student Clubs Shift to Virtual Connections

Bridging the Distance with Creativity

D-Term’s remote status changed just about every daily activity at WPI, but that didn’t stop students from doing the things they love and holding events they care about—it was all just now in a virtual format. Everyone is looking forward to the times when they can be near each other, but in the meantime, check out the ways WPI students are keeping on keeping on.

LEGO® Club Tackles a Complex Build

Nope, the WPI LEGO® Club didn’t come to a halt when the campus closed. Their work sure looks different, but with the help of LEGO® CAD software Studio and their own Slack channel, their two-year project to build a 1:300-scale model of WPI's main campus continues. “When completed, [it] will comprise over 60,000 LEGO® elements,” says Patrick Nieman ’23, president of the WPI LEGO® Club. A five-stage process, the club can’t put the finishing pieces on the first stage they did in C-Term but the next four stages need design. “We’re taking advantage of the extra time to make headway on the challenging modeling process,” he says. “We’ve been able to continue working despite the inability to meet in person.”

Chess Club Uses Tech to Keep the Games Going

Members of the Chess Club are taking intense tournaments to a whole new level. Using the latest technology to play a classical game seems like such a WPI approach. Chess Club president Patrick Houlihan ’22 says members use online chess-playing software and talk to each other using voice discord channels to mimic an in-person game—no matter how far apart they are. 

Colleges Against Cancer/Relay for Life Pivots for a Cause

“Once we got over the initial shock [of having to move activities online], it was never about if we would cancel—it was about how we would adapt,” says Meredith Forcier ’20, vice president of American Cancer Society On Campus, of the annual Relay for Life fundraiser. “It’s the biggest event on campus, and we knew we couldn’t not have it.” They shifted the focus slightly away from fundraising and a little more toward the mission with video stories, music, and cheering each other on from a distance. Either way, they raised more than $100,000 with matches and created an inspiring event. The magic of the relay was still there,” she says. “We were still connected to each other.” As a bonus, she says, she can rewatch the event and appreciate everything from the alumni and community support to President Leshin’s video. “My expectations?” she says. “This blew them all away.”

Donations to Relay for Life are accepted here until June 1.

Student Government Association Spans the Globe

Running across campus because you’re late for an SGA meeting? That will never hold a candle to the SGA member who logs in from the Middle East at 2 am to catch virtual D-Term meetings. The SGA is especially busy wrapping up the end-of-the-year business and acting as a voice for WPI’s student body, says Ryan Candy ’21, SGA president. They are setting budgets, reviewing competitions and license financial requests, and making plans for helping the incoming Class of 2024. More than anything, he says, they are confirming what they all signed up to do. “We’re still serving as the voice of the student body.” 

-By Julia Quinn-Szcesuil