University clubs struggle as COVID restricts recruitment

University clubs and circles in Japan are struggling to survive as the COVID-19 pandemic has created hurdles for these groups’ recruiting activities since the spring of 2020 when the coronavirus first hit the country, reports The Mainichi.

Gunma University in east Japan saw club activity notifications from 180 student groups in pre-pandemic 2019, but the number dropped to 151 this year. The institution’s student support division says the university asks clubs and circles fulfilling certain criteria, such as five members or more, to submit their activity notifications every year. But over the past two years, the division has seen a series of disbandment notifications from student groups.

One volunteer work group, for example, only had fourth-year students as members in 2020, and it dissolved in March 2021 when they graduated, after they failed to recruit freshman members. In January 2022, a Double Dutch circle also broke up over declining membership.
Full report on The Mainichi site