Our campus is working on expanding our support for student organization transition as a result of a recent "Aha" moment. During some expense of brain power about the frustrating and negative impact of weak officer transition, I realized how little support we offered to the bulk of our student organizations to assist them in successful officer transition. Of course, for those groups that our staff directly advises we try to focus a lot of energy on supporting that changeover. My moment of clarity, however, was more about the rest of the groups and what we should be doing differently. It only makes sense – the groups that are further "outside" the circle need more ability to exist on their own and therefore more support.
We have some things in mind for a new program and I want to share the details…
First Phase: Deadline for Elections through end of classes
For the first time, we have established a deadline for student organization officer elections. By April 3, clubs need to file a form with us that informs us of their newly identified e-board.
We will be developing a Wiki site about Officer Transition, presenting sample outlines for meetings, checklists, and other tips.
We will be sponsoring a "Fall Event Calendar Party" to organize fall semester planning. Through establishing a deadline for elections, we will make sure that we have the right students in the room when we are making commitments to the fall calendar.
We will sponsor a New Officer Welcome Reception in our office where the new officers can meet each other and meet our staff before the end of the semester.
Second Phase: Summer
We don't have many students around or in contact over the summer, so we will offer web-based resources (podcasts, tip sheets, etc.) and focus on the issues of "I'm in charge, so now what?" This phase will focus on completely optional content, but topics such as Vision, Goal setting, and "Membership Management" topics to respond to an expressed need for students to get better at managing their peers.
Anyone with events during the first six weeks of school will be invited to attend "Open Houses" that we will sponsor at various points in July. Our goal is to foster earlier event planning and more frequent contact with our office to prepare to host effective events during the opening of school.
Third Phase: August 15 – end of September
We will focus on student organization registration, preparation for our Involvement Fair and host a leadership conference at the end of September with a focus on hands-on, practical topics that will be useful for the leader just starting out.
Any thoughts on this plan? Does anyone out there in Blogging land have similar types of efforts and can share stories of success?
Have a great week!!