Monday, January 19, 2009

Tip of the Day: Start the Semester with a Bang

Given that it's the start of the second semester, it seems appropriate to talk about how to best tackle this time of the year. Students are coming back from long breaks back home. They're thinking more about the summer, jobs, and internships than what organizations they're part of. Students are now settled in their ways and have their social groups, so with the appeal of a new school year gone, it takes extra effort to get students interested in what you're doing. So the tip of the day is to start the semester with a bang.

Hold a big event that will bring back lapsed members and attract new ones. Here are some ideas:
  1. Bring in a big-name speaker. Invite someone from a major think tank or another university that will bring a lot of students out.
  2. Hold a debate with another organization. Come up with a major topic that will entice them, like the future of Obama's presidency.
  3. Go on a field trip. Taking students away from the university is a great way to entice membership. Go to a public debate downtown, go paintballing together, or even just a trip to a show.
  4. Hold an inauguration event. Since most every student plans to watch the inauguration of Barack Obama, make it an organizational event. Invite the organization to one of the Exec Board members' apartment with some food and drinks and either celebrate or mope together.
The important thing is to make sure that you kick off the semester to make people excited. To spur discussion, what other events would you recommend?

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