CEE AWWA students at Bob's Bash 2019CEE student organizations have had to make major sacrifices because of the pandemic. Over the course of a few days, students were forced to pivot quickly from on-campus classes and labs to distance learning. As a result, all student extra-curricular activities were drastically affected.

The ASCE Carolinas Conference (regional event) was cancelled in the Spring, as well as the national competitions. The UNC Charlotte chapter was looking forward to competing at the University of South Carolina. They would have been returning as defending champions in three categories: Concrete canoe, steel bridge, and innovation project.

“Our [canoe] team put in a lot of work,” ASCE former student chapter president Kelsey Lynch shared. Despite the disappointment, she feels that the knowledge they gained during the design process will still be beneficial. The same goes for the other hard-working student design teams.

All of AWWA’s spring meetings were cancelled as well, including competitions for wastewater treatment design. UNC Charlotte’s team won second place in the state last year (as shown in the photo above).

“It’s been hard,” said AWWA last year’s student chapter president James Homiller regarding navigating the recent changes in the last two months of the Spring 2020 semester. Virtual lunch-and-learn type activities hosted by the statewide AWWA Young Professionals group helped fill the gap. During the quarantine, ASCE members met online to play virtual card games and encourage one another.

Even though this year presented its share of challenges because of the coronavirus outbreak, our student organizations have demonstrated resilience and ingenuity—valuable skills to have under any circumstance.