It is that time of the season again – the National Honor Society has completed the induction of its new members. Due to the pandemic and the restrictions that come with it, the National Honors Society held its first-ever virtual banquet on December 3rd.
The National Honor Society, (NHS) led by sponsor Robert Schader, is an organization that honors students who represent the four pillars of scholarship, service, leadership, and character.
Each year NHS holds a banquet to introduce the new members and induct them into the organization. A typical banquet would consist of students arriving at Empress Banquet, where they would have the opportunity to get their photos taken, socialize with members, and enjoy dinner. Most importantly, NHS members would have the opportunity to listen to speeches from the sponsor, officers, and guest speakers.
However, the National Honor Society had to adapt to the current world everyone is currently living in, which would be Zoom.
Schader and the officers worked extremely hard to make sure that new members had the opportunity to experience their first-ever banquet. The main goal was to ensure each student’s achievements were recognized and not ignored. Many had concerns about the event and many were even anxious, including Schader, but he was prepared to overcome these obstacles.
“The potential errors would likely be technical issues. To combat the challenges, we had pre-recorded speeches as a backup in case our computer microphone or audio had issues. To ensure that the event ran smoothly, we had specifically and chronologically outlined everything we were doing. We had all attendees muted until they were speaking. In the event that a speaker couldn’t be heard, we would have asked all attendees to turn off their cameras as well,” said Schader.
The officers had other issues in mind.
“Personally I have horrible wifi connection so I had a very confident feeling that many of us would crash and get kicked out of the meeting,” said National Honor Society treasure Ashely M. Dela Cruz.
Adapting to this system would be hard on everyone attending, even the new seniors.
“It is extremely difficult to know that our senior year has been wasted. I had worked so hard to get into this organization and now I wouldn’t have the opportunity to get a proper ceremony,” said senior Diana Bueno.
Over 100 people attended the virtual banquet, as it was a mandatory event for all members. Students were encouraged to bring family members and friends to the ceremony to celebrate their accomplishments. Although members did not have the opportunity to enjoy a dinner, have their photo taken, and have interactions throughout the ceremony, they still received their certificates and were able to light their candles while taking the National Honor Society oath.
The night was full of surprises and challenges, but according to Schader, the banquet was very successful. Many of the issues that were expected to happen did not occur.
“This banquet was a night to experience seeing all the great speeches by the guest speakers. I personally did not witness any troubles and would personally call this banquet a success,” said National Honor Society member Gabriela Rojo.
Indeed the ceremony went according to plan. Despite the changes, many were still proud of the fact that the NHS still held a banquet.
“I believe that for it being virtual it was great! Organizing an event virtually can lead to a lot of things failing, so kudos to the leaders for the success. It is sad to see that the new members did not experience their first live banquet, but I am very happy the NHS was able to pull this ceremony together,” said National Honor Society member Yaquelin Hernandez.