“Zooming” Out of Chapel
By: Eric Norris
When Doctor Norman Hall took the job as President of Simpson in 2019, his famous motto was “Simpson Rising.” This motto meant that Simpson was going to turn the corner in terms of quality…then COVID hit. Before COVID, there were 300 to 400 students gathered in the Grant Center on Campus intently listening diligently to a guest speaker.
During COVID being allowed to live on campus was a gift for many students who struggled to focus on school while living at home. The staff and faculty at Simpson had to get creative. Simpson had to maintain COVID protocols but still bring chapel and worship to students during a difficult time. The original strategy was chapel on Zoom. Chapel staff had a set up in the student union and broadcasted chapel online via Zoom.
Jacob Vincent, 6-foot-5 sophomore wrestler, said, “I only went to the chapels in person, now I am on chapel probation for not going to them on Zoom.”
Simpson noticed that not enough students were attending online so they made an adjustment that required the faculty to help. Less time was spent on the chapel message so that when it was over, there was time for small groups. Each student chose a professor or faculty member that would ask questions about the message after it was given. Each group would contain about 12 to 15 students.
“It was a difficult transition going online. I loved greeting my friends with hugs,” said avid chapel goer Soledad Torres, “Simpson really made the most of going online and I appreciated how they adapted.”
Chapel is back in person this school year. For now, online chapels are in the past.