The Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically altered the way that student organizations function on campus. Clubs that used to hold weekly meetings in person are limited to holding their meetings over zoom, if at all. Performance-based student organizations that used to have sold out showcases every semester are facing a significant challenge. How do we organize programming that will allow our members to perform while being socially distanced? Perhaps no set of student organizations has been hit harder by the pandemic's restrictions than Tufts' nine acapella groups. With a campus-wide singing ban in effect, the groups have been doing their best to remain visible and active while adhering to the rules designed to keep us all safe and healthy.
My group, S-Factor, is an all-men group that sings music of the African Diaspora. Established in 2006, we are one of the youngest vocal groups on campus, but our status as a staple within the Black community at Tufts has been cemented by years of smooth melodies, soulful riffs, and service to our people in the form of musical healing.
Like the other eight vocal groups on campus, S-Factor has been hit hard by the Covid safety guidelines. We were unable to hold auditions in the Fall and were deeply saddened not to gather with our community and sing for each other. While we are not meeting three times a week like usual, we still get on zoom to connect whenever we get the chance. We share memories of gigs from the years prior and laugh about all the memories we have created with one another. This past week, we welcomed our two newest members, first-year students John Waller and Melchor Becker! We very much look forward to the opportunity to continue doing what we love as soon as it is safe to do so. But until then, we enjoy each other's virtual company all the same. As we sing at the end of every S-Factor rehearsal, "behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity."