Organizations: Getting Involved
At 5 p.m. Jan. 25, the Office of Student Activities hosted their semiannual Organization Roundtable in the Buddy Green Room of the McMahon Centennial Complex, where campus group leaders discussed how to recruit members.
Megan Canfield, Coordinator of Campus Life & New Student Programs, began by introducing herself and describing where her office is located in case students need help running their organizations.
She then began to ask questions about what makes people get involved in a club and how new members initially heard about the organization.
Canfield then suggested organizations develop a membership profile outlining who they want in their organization based on their desired group size, potential member contributions and organization and member values.
Canfield talked about getting everyone involved and developing a creative advertising campaign. She said recruitment is not a solo operation meant to be carried out by just the executive officers of an organization; therefore, it is paramount to get all active members involved. The more people use their personal networks, the larger the organization will be.
She mentioned that when competing with 60 other clubs it is important to do more to ingrain their club in the mind of the students. People shouldn’t simply rely on the mundane flyers that everyone else is posting.
She urged organizations to go beyond the status quo and think of some innovative ways to get their club’s name out there while making sure to include the most important information, such as the time, date and place of their first meeting.
Canfield said that the students decided the topic of the roundtable this semester.
“Students really want to hear from each other,” she said. “They want tips from me, but ultimately they want to hear that other clubs are either facing the same struggles that they are or that another club as had the problem they are currently facing and has a great way to solve it.”
She also said that back in August when they conducted the organization orientation, she asked members from different organizations to tell her the kind of topics they wanted to learn more about, one of which was on recruitment.
Canfield went ahead to talk about what to do with new members, and also what sets an organization apart from the others. She suggested ensuring returning members mingle with new members, holding an orientation session and making new members feel useful.
Emmanuel Alfaro, a senior marketing student and the president of the Cameron chapter of the American Marketing Association, said he was impressed about the information he received.
“I asked a few questions from leaders from other organizations,” he said, “and they gave me some good feedback. I made sure to jot all that down, and I will put it to good use”.
Canfield also highlighted the dos and don’ts of recruitment tables with pictures of the recent organization fair held at the beginning of the semester. Approachability is a key to success. Clubs can draw in crowds by standing in front or behind their tables to make themselves look interesting.
Also, she recommended facing walkways, limiting the number of table workers to no more than three, bringing relevant information and participating for the whole fair.
“Otherwise you look obnoxious and you waste people’s time,” Canfield said.
After talking to the students, participants took turns to talk about what does and doesn’t work for their organizations, and asked each other questions. Students were able to provide solutions for each other and some of them decided to collaborate on some events together.
For more information about how to recruit members, contact the office of Student Activities at (580) 581-2217.