Whether you're looking for tips on what to consider as you plan an event, or how to get a better handle on running your club meeting, or looking for some tips for boosting club membership, check out the resources in the various sections below.
We tend to think and operate based on our own knowledge and experiences. This happens not only in our day to day interactions and activities, but also when planning an event. It’s a habit. We don’t mean to leave anyone out. However, actively seeking to expand your world-view, challenging your perspectives, and seeking opportunities to learn and grow will help you, and your club operate more inclusively.
It is easy to get swept up in the planning and excitement of your event and forget to reflect on some very important considerations concerning inclusiveness. Inclusiveness encompasses a number of topics, each deserving of attention. Take some time to read through and reflect on the ways that you can implement more inclusive programming.
Gender bias is when you make an assumption about whether only males or females enjoy or engage in specific activities. This may be reflected in the language and images that you use on your event advertisements/marketing, decorations at your event, or other event logistics.
Labeling activities according to which gender you think will enjoy them is a form of non-inclusiveness. Be mindful of this when you are choosing the art, colors, words, and layout of your events.
Sexual orientation bias is when you assume that all your participants are of the same sexual orientation that you are. Again, this can be reflected in your marketing for the event. To be inclusive, you message should be clear that you welcome all persons.
For example, if holding a dance, you may explicitly state that same-sex couples are welcome. You could also show images of same-sex and heterosexual couples dancing. You are helping to create a welcoming and inclusive environment by acknowledging that couples do not just look to be of one particular sexual orientation.
Limiting participation based on an individual’s sexual orientation is another form of non-inclusiveness. Consider the statements that are made on your marketing for the club activity. Seek to let all persons know that they are welcome.
Racial and/or Ethnic bias is when you target or limit a specific group of participants based on their race and/or ethnicity. This is done again through the words and pictures you use to advertise the event, and even in the event activities.
For example, if holding a dance, consider choosing a variety of music that may be enjoyed by persons of other races/ethnicities. Consider decorating in a manner that reflects a variety of races/ethnicities. Perhaps you may even offer a variety of foods.
Structuring activities in a manner that does not welcome all races/ethnicities is another form of non-inclusiveness. Again, make sure that your programming demonstrates that all persons are valued and welcome.
As is stated at the beginning of this section, it is easy to forget to look beyond our own experiences. If you are not affected by a disability, then you may not consider how your event advertisement and/or set up limits potential participants.
Disabilities may be seen or unseen, don’t assume. A disability can affect people physically, either in body structure or functioning, it can affect an individual through restrictions in their activity, or it can affect someone’s ability to participate. Persons with disabilities may be affected by their physical and/or social environments. Additionally, just because someone may have the same disability as another, it does not mean that they are affected exactly the same way.
For more clarity and understanding on the forms of disability, check out this website: https://www.disabled-world.com/disability/types/ (Links to an external site.)
Be mindful of how you are promoting and structuring your event. As with the above topics, leaving someone out, whether intentionally or unintentionally, is not inclusive.
Religious and cultural biases are demonstrated when persons with religious beliefs, cultural rituals and/or traditions are not included. There are such a vast number of cultures and religions throughout the world. It can be daunting to imagine how to be inclusive to all. Instead, acknowledge that other beliefs, rituals, and traditions do exist in your immediate surroundings. Seek to be inclusive by informing yourself of other celebrations, both the time of year and the practices.
For example, if your event is during a time when other cultural or religious practices require fasting, perhaps you can acknowledge that by not having food at the event. Another example may be, if your event celebrates a holiday in a particular month, you can include practices for holidays of other cultures/religions that fall around that time as well.
Be considerate about other religions and cultures. Take the time to inform yourself, and as a club, about the celebrations and practices of others. Excluding an individual by means of disregarding their beliefs, rituals, and/or traditions is another form of non-inclusiveness.
According to the US Census Bureau 1 in 8 persons living in the US have a yearly income that is considered to fall below the poverty line. Poverty may affect people in a variety of ways, but participation in non-essential activities is one of them.
When participation in your event requires any kind of an expense, whether through entrance fees or having to travel to/from a location, you may be limiting who is able to attend.
Remember that your goal should be to include everyone in your event, not only to gain visibility and membership, but to enrich their college experience. If persons are not able to attend because of added financial burdens, that is a form of not being inclusive.
Planning events takes a lot of time and work. There are so many factors to consider. However, you should make inclusive programming one of your top priorities.
Give thought to who is included, or may be excluded by the way you market and structure your events. Demonstrate that you welcome everyone. Be intentional with your words. Carefully consider the graphics and colors you use on your event fliers. Deliberately seek to make your events a safe, welcoming, fun, and engaging place and experience for all.
Holding Effective Meetings
Many clubs have limited opportunities for everyone to gather and discuss ideas, plan events, and stay informed about what’s happening on campus. For this reason, it is vital that meeting times be effective, allowing agenda items to be addressed and discussed, and a decision to be made when necessary.
The frequency of meetings will differ for each club, as you all have unique focus’, various group sizes, etc. Clubs may choose how often they meet, but are required to hold regular club meetings. This means establishing a day, time, and frequency that you adhere to throughout the academic year.
At times clubs may need to adjust their meeting day/time. This is allowable, but discouraged. While we want you to prioritize your classes, and therefore sometimes changes are unavoidable, we also want you to acknowledge that consistency is the key to maintaining active membership. Additionally, when deciding how often to meet, keep in mind that participation is often negatively impacted when there are longer spans of time between meetings, therefore, we recommend weekly or bi-weekly meetings.
There may be various times throughout the year when other circumstances influence your club activity and/or meetings. For example, just before or during finals, or during breaks between quarters. Whatever the reason, try to plan ahead. While consistency of meetings is important, please recognize that having a meeting just for the sake of meeting is unnecessary.
Consider the following questions as a guide to assist you in preparing for and holding meetings:
- Do you have specific agenda items that need to be discussed?
- Are the agenda items an open discussion for all club members, or are they directed towards voting members and/or officers only?
Once you’ve determined that a meeting is necessary, and the participants that need to be present, takes steps to ensure that your meeting runs efficiently.
- Agenda: Think through the ideas/topics to be discussed and create an agenda
- If you struggle to construct an agenda, use a template: https://www.vertex42.com/WordTemplates/meeting-agenda.html (Links to an external site.)
- There are various styles available, find the one that works for you, or modify it to fit your needs
- Materials: If your topics require additional documents (such as illustrations of an idea, event
proposals, etc.) be sure to take a couple of copies with you to be passed around for
others to look at
- Additionally, consider requesting the use of equipment, such as a laptop and projector in order to eliminate/reduce the use of paper
- Reminder: Send out a meeting reminder the day before, or a minimum of 1 hour before the meeting
- Include the meeting location in your reminder
- If you struggle to construct an agenda, use a template: https://www.vertex42.com/WordTemplates/meeting-agenda.html (Links to an external site.)
Be mindful of the amount of time you require to get business taken care of. To help you utilize time wisely, consider these tips:
- Arrive on time: When possible, come to the meeting a little early (even just 5-10 minutes)
- Set up the space – turn on lights, utilize the whiteboard for greetings, messages, etc.
- Place agendas out so participants can grab one as they enter or sit
- Greet participants as they arrive
- Be especially welcoming to any new attendees and/or guests and provide any directions
- Consider doing a "welcome" activity for new comers - as long as you have made time in your agenda (see the 'Recruitment and Retention' module for ideas)
- Be especially welcoming to any new attendees and/or guests and provide any directions if needed
- Start on time: Be punctual in bringing the meeting to order
- Waiting for others to arrive is not considerate of the time of other attendees, and it takes from the time available for getting through your agenda
- Set ground rules: during your first club meeting of the year, you should make time right from the start
to determine the ground rules that your club will operate by
- This is a set of guiding rules that the club as a whole determines, and agrees upon
regarding how they should conduct business and themselves
- Discuss proposed rules for clarity and agreement
- Write down the agreed upon rules for future reference (utilize large 'Post-it' paper from the Knight's Club Room)
- Keep your ground rules handy for posting during meetings
- This is a set of guiding rules that the club as a whole determines, and agrees upon regarding how they should conduct business and themselves
- Take minutes: Typically the club Secretary is responsible for taking meeting minutes
- Minutes should contain enough detail to reflect what was discussed and the decisions that were made
- Involve attendees: Seek to make each attendee a valued voice in the meeting
- Stay on topic: Don’t stray from the agenda that you have created
- Don’t allow for agenda items to become launching points for other discussions
- Don’t allow for attendees to get involved in side-chatter
- Clarify decisions: To confirm that everyone understands, restate the outcome for items that are voted on
- Notice of upcoming meeting: Know the date/time of your next meeting, state it to attendees (even if it is a reoccurring day/time), put it on your agenda so others may refer back to it.
- End on time: Be attentive to the time, and do not exceed the amount of time that your meeting is set for
- Show appreciation: Let participants know that you are appreciative of their time and attendance
Be considerate of the space that you use and the individuals who will use it after you.
Before leaving, please do the following:
- Pick up any leftover agendas…recycle them in the blue bins!
- Clean off the white board if you used it
- Pick up trash (ask attendees help cleanup)
- Try to leave the chairs in an orderly fashion, particularly those around a table
- Put away and/or turn off any equipment that you used
- SHUT OFF THE LIGHTS (unless meeting in a space that is typically open all the time)
- Close the door (unless you’re meeting in a space that is typically open all the time)
If attendees have questions or concerns that they need to discuss try to address them, but be mindful that there may be another group waiting for the space you are in:
- Be aware of when the space is being used after you
- Don’t hold up another groups meeting (you affect their ability to begin on time and get through their agenda)
- Provide for an alternative space or method for attendees to talk with you if needed
- Meet up in the lounge, the Diversity Center, or inquire about the Knight’s Club Room
- Give an email address or phone number
If you want more ideas, look up tips for effective meetings
- Here is one resource: https://www.inc.com/eric-morgan/7-tips-for-leading-meetings-more-effectively.html
It’s nice when a meeting runs smoothly. Everyone is punctual, you get through the agenda items, decisions are made with civil debate, and everyone leaves happy and feeling accomplished! But what about the times when that is not the case?
There are a few issues that arise commonly in meetings. While they may be frustrating, there are some simple tips for dealing with them that will hopefully help alleviate some of the contention.
Life happens! Sometimes, being late is unavoidable, and we can all be gracious on these rare occasions. But when a participant, especially one who has a key role in the club, consistently arrives late, how do you address that? The delay, disruption, and possibly the perceived disrespect can be difficult to deal with.
Calling people out for their tardiness, particularly in front of peers, is not considered good practice. Instead, allow them to join the meeting without further disruption. If you wish to address the tardiness with the individual, request that they meet privately with you and/or your advisor. Just remember that there is a diplomatic way to approach frustrations such as these:
- Refrain from addressing the individual with aggression, blaming, etc.
- Explain the concern calmly
- Ask the individual about the cause of their tardiness
- Use actively listening techniques while they are speaking
- Pay attention and acknowledge the individuals’ message
- Focus your attention, notice their body language
- Demonstrate that you are listening
- Pay attention to your body language
- Give feedback
- Reiterate what the speaker said
- Ask questions for clarification
- Don’t jump to judgement
- Give them time to finish their thought without interruption
- Resist forming your rebuttal as they are speaking
- Respond appropriately
- Be honest and respectful
- It’s okay to tell the person that their tardiness is disruptive and distracting, but it is not okay to name call, use profanity, belittle or threaten them in any way.
- If it is found that the participant is incapable of arriving on time due to circumstances
beyond their control, such as having a class or other obligation right before the
meeting, you might want to consider making accommodations if possible.
- See if moving the meeting time will work for everyone
- Determine how you can allow the individual to arrive late with little to no disruption
- “Reserve” a seat for them that is close to the door
- Make any agenda items that they must speak on further down the list if needed
- Leave the door open and unlocked so that they are able to enter without knocking and/or causing much noise by opening it
- Be honest and respectful
- Pay attention and acknowledge the individuals’ message
- Use actively listening techniques while they are speaking
Out of Control Debates
Debates can be invigorating, exciting, and fruitful…but they can also evoke negative emotions and behaviors. When things get out of hand, it eats into precious time that is needed for further discussion and decisions. Keeping a hot-button topic from evolving into an out-of-control argument begins with ground rules.
As a club, establish an agreed upon set of rules that will govern how meetings should be carried out. You may want to consider having specific logistics, such as:
- Comments on a topic may only be made when…
- Should attendees raise their hand and be called upon?
- Will you go around the table seat-by-seat?
- Will you allow attendees to speak up as they wish, as long as they do not interrupt another?
- Participants must limit comments to a maximum of…(1 minute? 2 minutes?)
- Participants may only comment on a given topic…(once; twice;…?)
Additionally, you might consider ground rules that speak to the tone of the participants, such as:
- Be courteous and attentive to speakers
- Allow speakers to comment without interruption
- Comments and disagreements must be made in a civil, respectful manner
- Whether agreeing or disagreeing, comments should explain the speakers stance so as to promote understanding
Your club should come up with a short list that will sum up the values of your members. If you are having trouble thinking through this, try doing a quick google search for ideas.
Ground rules are a good idea for all clubs, regardless of whether there is a specific situation creating a need for them. We recommend that the first meeting of the year begin with the establishment of ground rules. In addition to the above noted ideas, consider ground rules on things such as:
There are plenty more ideas that you may search for concerning what to include in your ground rules, but consideration for the values of all members is important. Discuss the proposed rules, allow participants to write down 1-3 suggestions and then discuss them. However you choose to go about the creation of your ground rules, remember that this is the set of rules that you and all participants are agreeing to.
Steps to Event Planning
Planning and putting on events can be fun and rewarding, but also challenging, and maybe even a little overwhelming. Successful event planning requires a thoughtful, detailed approach in order to ensure the best possible outcome, but sometimes it is difficult to think through the various details.
Even more importantly, events typically involve the partnership of multiple departments, and therefore the details are vital to the success of your event!
In order to assist you in the process, and hopefully minimize the amount of frustration and stress, we have a step-by-step guide that we hope you will consider utilizing as you plan. Each event may have different needs, but most have the same basic structure.
Whether you’re putting on an event that your club does every year, or coming up with a brand new idea, you will need to come together as a club and determine what you want the event to look like.
What kind of event do you want to do?
- Will it be a lecture, movie, game, etc.?
- Are there enough club members invested in the event idea?
- Is this event going to cost you money?
- Do you have enough funding in your club account?
- Do you need to do some fundraising?
- Do you need to consider collaborating with another club and sharing the cost?
- Do you need to request funding assistance from Student Senate?
- Who are the intended participants?
- Remember that S&A funds may only be spent on current students; if you involve others, you will need to make sure you have non-S&A funds you can utilize (such as fundraised funds)
- Faculty and staff
- Community members
All of these details will help you as you determine the needs for your event.
When do you want to hold the event?
- Be aware of other events that are happening in the same timeframe
- Check the event calendar, and aim for a day/week when no other events are taking place (especially if another event is similar to yours) – You want to avoid event burnout!
- Pay special attention to other important dates such as registration, tuition due day, and finals, as these may play a role in event attendance
- Consider the time of day – the time of day may impact who your participants are
Where do you want to have the event?
- Do your best to choose a location that is accessible to all
- Will the location be easy to find and visible from multiple access points?
- If the event is held in a building or is not easily seen from various access points,
consider having signage and/or helpers to direct participants
- Be strategic in where signage is placed to accommodate arrival from different access points
- Will participants have to travel to another location (off-campus)?
- As you create your promotional flier/poster be sure to include sufficient information to easily direct participants to your event
- Do you need to consider requesting the use of an ASWVC vehicle to shuttle participants
(depending on the total number)?
- There is a cost associated with this option that you will need to factor into the total event expenses
- Reserve your space as soon as possible in order to ensure availability and begin advertisement of your event
- If the event is held in a building or is not easily seen from various access points, consider having signage and/or helpers to direct participants
What equipment and supplies do you need for your event?
- Think through the various details and determine what is needed
- Will you use tables, chairs, technology (such as projector, laptop, etc.)?
- Does your event require equipment for special lighting and/or sound?
- Will you be purchasing decorations?
- Consider checking the club room and/or asking if the Student Senate has items that you may use
- Are you serving food?
How much is this event going to cost?
- After considering all the needs, itemize the cost (we recommend using the Event Responsibilities
- Be sure that you include tax and shipping
- When an exact amount cannot be factored, estimate high
- Consider that some facilities setup and custodial costs may be difficult to calculate, but will be required
- If using an ASWVC vehicle, factor the mileage charges (provided on the Prior Trip Authorization form)
Familiarize yourself with WVC and ASWVC policies.
- There are some very important policies regarding events designed to protect you, your
club, and your participants
- Your advisor (or a representative of the college) must be present for the duration of the activity/event
- S&A funding may only be used for currently enrolled students
- Any food being served must be pre-approved – see the ASWVC Club Handbook
Let others know what, when, and where!
- Once your event details are in place, get the word out about what, when, and where
- Make sure that event marketing contains the required non-discrimination statement
- Be mindful of how easily it is to read and decipher the information
- i.e. – Do the colors used on the background and the text blur together; did you use a font that is difficult to read; did you include all the necessary information in order for readers to know exactly when and where your event will be held
- Be mindful of the language that you use – seek to be inclusive – See ‘Inclusive Programming’ for examples
- Fliers should be created and posted no less than 2-weeks prior to your event
- Although the minimum timeframe for marketing is 2-weeks, more time is encouraged in order to allow more opportunity for students to see and plan to attend
How are you going to make sure that the event runs as imagined?
- Your team should come up with a plan for how the responsibilities of the event will
be taken care of
- i.e. – if you need someone at a “check-in” table – who will do that?; if you need someone to manage a cash box – who is going to do that?
- Create a sign-up sheet if needed
- Have team members choose a responsibility that they are committing to taking care of, or if it is basic event coverage, break the event up into time slots – members can note when they are available to cover
- If there are specific needs with technology, or access, etc., make sure that one of your team members takes the lead in requesting and obtaining whatever is needed prior to the start of the event
- Plan out when you will need to begin setting up your event
- You will want to make sure that you have plenty of time in the event setup – over-estimate if possible…decorating takes more time than you might think!
- Plan to have one or two members designated as greeters
Draw people in!
- Be prepared for some participants to arrive early!
- Make sure that you greet/welcome participants to your event
- Consider playing some music or having an activity while participants wait for the event to start (unless they are able to jump into the event upon arrival)
- Use sandwich boards to advertise and direct people in to your event on the day of to eliminate confusion – especially if people are arriving early – they may not know for certain if they are in the right spot if they don’t see many other people
- You may also want to consider door-prizes or other forms of participation prizes
- It is great when people are eager to join in, but sometimes others are enticed by the prospect of getting something – sometimes, just having food at your event is plenty of incentive, other times having small prizes that people can win will encourage their attendance and participation
- Take note of the number of attendees
- While this is not a requirement, it is data that can be compiled and used for the
planning of future events
- Attendee tracking helps you to see which types of events get the most attention, and future anticipated needs (i.e. – how much food did you have left over or did you run out early?, did you have enough space for the type of activity you did, or do you need a large space next time? etc.)
- Take pictures!
- Again, this is not a requirement, but it is great when we have pictures to share out. This tells the campus what fun they could partake in so that they know to look for upcoming events either by your club or others.
- While this is not a requirement, it is data that can be compiled and used for the planning of future events
When the party’s over…
- Having fun is the point, but when it’s over, make sure to clean up after yourselves!
- Remove your posters from all sandwich boards!
- Bring sandwich boards back to Van Tassell – put them back on the stage
- Remove any décor from the area
- Make sure that personal items are collected
- Return any items that you borrowed
- Tape, scissors, rulers, etc.
- Sound Equipment
- Facilities will take down any tables/chairs that you used
- Facilities will do the main cleaning up
Recruitment & Retention
Clubs have unlimited opportunities to recruit new participants. There are a few things that clubs are asked to take part in that are directly related to recruitment, but any and every activity, event, project, etc. should be seen and utilized as an opportunity to gain membership.
Being a part of a club at a two-year school can have unique challenges due to the frequency of membership-turnover. But one way to ensure that your club, and perhaps club legacy, will continue on is to continuously recruit new members, and ultimately, new officers to lead the club.
Clubs are asked to create a flier that is posted outside the Knight’s Club Room. The club flier should contain the following information:
- Club Name
- A sentence or two letting others know the purpose of your club (limit to 2 sentences maximum)
- Your meeting information
- Day (include frequency of meetings: i.e. – “every-other Tuesday”; “every Friday”
- Time (denote Am or PM)
- Location (if off campus, provide the name and address)
When creating your flier be mindful of how easily others can read and understand it. It’s okay, and encouraged, to use pictures to capture the attention of readers. However, enveloping the words in a picture can make it difficult to read. Likewise, be mindful of the font and colors that you choose.
We recommend that you consider the following suggestions:
- A font that is easy to read – clearly defined; legible; identifiable lettering
- Bold lettering to make certain words stand out, particularly if you have pictures around the lettering
- Black lettering, or if your background is dark, then white lettering
- Consider making information stand out with bullet-points
- WHO: Social Justice Club
- WHAT: Club meetings
- WHEN: Every Thursday at 2 PM
- WHERE: Knight’s Club Room
- WHY: Social Justice Club focus’ on bringing awareness about injustice towards minority groups. In partnership with community leaders, we target systematic-injustice, and seek to make positive change in perspectives and policy.
You may put your information in any order that seems fitting to you, but all the information should be stated to give a complete understanding to the reader, and allow them to make an informed decision about whether they want to join in and are able to make it to your meetings.
Each fall and spring quarter the Campus Life office, in partnership with ASWVC Senate, ASWVC Clubs, WVC departments, and Wenatchee community members put on a showcase. This is when everyone comes together, typically around the fountain, in hopes of gaining recognition and participation.
Showcase is a prime opportunity to gain visibility, as attendees are required to visit tables in order to take advantage of free food. Clubs are asked to be creative in coming up with an interactive game or activity in order to better engage with participants.
It is the intention that the interactions that you have with other students will lead to interest and participation in your club. Keep that in mind as you decide on what sort of activity you do at your table. Prepare for the interest of others by having a club flier and/or information sheet about your club available for reference. Additionally, create a membership “sign-up” sheet where you can collect names, phone numbers, and/or emails of interested students.
Be sure to make a point of following up with any students that demonstrate interest in your club. Even if you think they will for sure come to your meetings, contact them and let that know that you are excited for them to join in, make sure that they know when and where the meeting is going to be. Greet new participants at the meeting and do introductions to familiarize and help ease any discomfort that they may feel in this new setting. Additionally, you might want to consider coming up with a short ice-breaker as a way to introduce existing members to new members, and engage them in something fun right away!
Other Activities/Events and Resources for Recruitment
Be aware that any and every flier, activity, and event that you do is an opportunity to highlight your club and gain new members. Consider tabling to advertise an event or just for viability. Utilize the Reader board (this is above the main doors in Van Tassell, send an email out to the campus telling about who you are and inviting others to participate in your club.
Just remember to...
- Craft your messages and posters in a way that is easy to read and informative - if others cannot clearly read and understand, they are not likely to take the time to seek you out
- Structure your activities and events in a way that is inviting to all participants
- be mindful of various pieces of accessibility, whether mobility limitations, visual/hearing
impairments, transportation barriers, etc.
- For guidance on how you can be more inclusive in your programming, we can help connect you with the Student Access office, and/or the Diversity & Equity Coordinator
Make recruitment one of your top goals in your discussions and decisions.
Recruitment and retention go hand-in-hand. It’s great when you are able to bring new members into your club, but you also need to focus your efforts on how to maintain that membership.
There are a few common frustrations that often arise with recruitment and retention of club members. Being aware of what the common issues are, will be helpful in recognizing problems and developing strategies that you can employ to help your club navigate and reduce frustrations and strengthen your efforts in drawing in, and keeping your club members.
Click through the topics below for to better understand what to be mindful of as you seek to bring in and keep new members.
Issue: Dropping Out
There are many possible reasons as to why a new member may only join in for a couple of meetings or activities and then vanish! Maybe they didn’t feel that they were able to engage well enough to feel like a part of the club. Maybe they lost interest in what the club was doing. Maybe they felt left out of conversations and planning.
While you may not know each and every persons reasons for backing out of club membership, there are some fun activities to consider implementing in order to help build bonds between new and existing club members.
Addressing the issue: Valuing Each Member
Demonstrating that you value every member of your club can be done with a few simple steps, and is vital to the survival and success of your club. There are many ways that you can accomplish this goal, but below are a few key things to consider:
Let new members know that they are valued by doing some simple activities that will help them to feel welcome.
- Welcome activity (Ice-breaker) – Welcome activities help ease the awkwardness of being strangers, and hopefully begin to unite the existing club members with new members.
Here are a couple of websites that have “Get to Know You” questions that you may find interesting:
Be aware that some questions that you find on these sites may “dig a little deep”. Be sensitive and respectful to the fact that not everyone is comfortable being so vulnerable with strangers right away. You may want to consider asking the group about any topics they feel are “off limits”, and without asking “Why”. For example, if someone did not grow up in a happy or supportive environment, they may not want to answer questions that address their childhood or family.
There are many other activities that you can choose from, here is another website with some ideas:
These links are only intended as possible suggestions, you may do your own research, or if you have heard of or done an activity that you think would help create community between members, you should feel free to implement those.
Another way to demonstrate that you value all club members is to be sure that everyone’s voice is heard. New members may not feel that they have enough information about what the club has done or is doing, or feel that their input is valid.
- Communication: Making sure that everyone feels included begins with communication. Provide a brief
history of your club mission, goals, and activities. Make sure to fill new members
in on what you are currently working on.
- Ask questions regarding their experience with activities, interests in various types of events, and general input.
- Ask about their strengths.
- Maybe they are good at art or communication and would do well with a marketing role through flier creation or all-campus emails about events.
- Maybe they are terrific with organization, and would flourish in the planning portion of events.
Issue: Not Feeling Welcome
Joining an existing group as a new-comer can feel awkward for most people. They probably don’t know anyone’s name, they may be completely unfamiliar with the goals of the group, and they most likely are not sure how to “jump-in”.
Additionally, if existing members are reserved in their efforts to talk with new-comers and include them in conversations, it is not long before new members may begin to feel unwelcome in the club.
Addressing the issue: Building Community
Building community among club members can be done through the same activities as demonstrating that each member has value.
- Make sure everyone feels welcome
- Communicate with all members, making them feel included
Issue: Non-inclusive Discussions
You may be tempted to carry out business, make decisions, and plan out an upcoming event with a “business as usual” mindset, but if a new member has joined your club, that sort of “introduction” may cause them to feel like they are not included in your club activities.
Addressing the issue: Inclusiveness
Take the time to do a proper introductions, not just of a new-comers name to the rest of the group, but of the whole group to one another. Again, this can be accomplished in the same manner as showing that you value each member.
While all three of the above mentioned issues can be addressed with the same activates, they are important to note separately so that you are fully aware of what tends to carry the greatest impact on club recruitment and retention.
It is our hope that you know how much the Campus Life office is invested in the development, growth, survival, and success of your club. Each club brings immeasurable value to the college. Your unique perspectives, goals, and activities not only enrich the college as a whole, but enriches the lives of your peers.
It is our goal to provide you with as much guidance and support as you need. As you plan your activities and events, we understand that at times, navigating college policies, collaborating with various departments, and getting the word out to your peers is not without its challenges. We are here to help you sort out the details in the planning process. Please let us know if and when you need some help. We are here for you! We genuinely enjoy witnessing your success! Your success, is a win not only for your club, but for us, and for the college!
Although it is mandatory that clubs have an advisor in order to be recognized as an official club, each club determines for themselves the extent to which their advisor is involved in the club activities. Advisors are required, per the ASWVC Club Handbook, to be present at all events, sign-off on expenses, and ensure that college policies are followed.
Beyond these basic requirements, your club may have chosen to request additional duties of your advisor. Advisors should be utilized as a source of support and guidance, but the student voice is what should determine the activities, direction, and mission of your club.
Any and all duties that you request of you advisor should be communicated at the time that you approach them to become your advisor. Any proposed changes to your advisor’s role should be communicated and discussed with them, and the club.
Do be mindful that your advisor is employed as a faculty and/or staff at the college, and that the club advisor role is a voluntary unpaid position. While advisors feel a sense of pride in helping to guide and support student activities, the advisor role may also create additional stresses as they attempt to juggle their day to day duties with club involvement. Communication with your advisor regarding plans, needs, etc. is the responsibility of the club.