COVID-19 update

COVID-19 update from HOC president!

The Hoofer Outing Club will be open and running this semester! The pandemic has brought on an entirely different way of living for everyone, a way of living that unfortunately consists largely of “giving things up”. Many of the activities and daily habits we all took for granted are now too risky and we are left with a void. On top of that, we are returning to school life which will likely bring prolonged computer sessions. Especially for us students, we will be constantly trying to balance personal needs with risk and the greater good. This school year, I am committed to providing a safe, responsible environment to get outside and meet like minded people. In order to do so, things will have to change here at the Outing Club, and many experiences that returning members have loved might not be responsible anymore. I will do my best to detail the differences in how the club will operate this year, but it is important to note that circumstances change rapidly these days, and that everything I say below is subject to change.

In accordance with Dane County Public Health directives, indoor programming will be limited to 10 people, outdoor programming will be limited to 25 people, no out of state travel, with face mask utilization and six foot social distancing protocol in effect. Wearing a face mask protects those around you and is crucial if the Outing Club is to remain open this year. More information on how masks work can be found [here]. For all HOC events, we will be stricter about tracking attendance through our scheduling software RecHub to aid in contact tracing efforts.

As I alluded to before, certain activities will no longer be safe and responsible for the club. Travel and camping represent two high risk scenarios for club members and will be on hold. With our current resources, we can not safely offer transportation and overnight camping gear/food. Good news is, there are still plenty of ways to experience the outdoors! The general trend is going to be towards local events that don’t require travel and minimize shared gear. Ie, running, biking, and hopefully paddling on Mendota. Specific guidelines for each activity will be released soon and posted below, but I wanted to give an update as best as I can at this moment. Also, for any trip leaders, there will be more information coming soon that is more specific to your role.

Have fun, stay healthy, and be responsible.

Alec Lowry

Hoofer Outing Club President