Member recruitment can be difficult: You could have a new chapter and be looking for additional members to help your organization grow; you could be looking for members because many have recently graduated; or you simply could have a small chapter and want more members in order to bolster your chapter’s activity. Regardless of where you and your chapter stand, understanding what campus resources are available to you and learning how to use them is critical to the recruitment process.
From personal experience, community is an integral part to support any organization, whether that community is on a college campus or elsewhere. But while most will agree fostering community connections is important to promote member recruitment, the execution can seem far more difficult. I found that brainstorming ideas to recruit members can be a breeze, but knowing where to start proves far more elusive.
The Zeta Psi Chapter has turned to resources our university, The University of Northern Colorado (UNC), provides to clubs and student-run organizations. If your university or college has a student activities office—or something similarly named—requesting basic information from them is unbelievably beneficial. This office can inform you about funding opportunities, help your chapter rent a table or booth in your university center, and give you information about collaborating with other clubs and organizations. Without the help of the UNC Student Activities office, my chapter wouldn’t have the opportunity to be as active in our campus community through events such as “A Little Night Music,” the marathon reading of A Christmas Carol, and spring and fall bake sales. Having an open line of communication with the student activities office opens doors for your chapter and gives you an idea of what events your chapter has the ability to host.
Student Activities Office
Sometimes, offices host member recruitment events specifically for clubs and organizations. For example, our university hosts “Bear Welcome,” an event for incoming freshmen to learn about numerous activities and events the week before classes begin. One of these events is the “Student Involvement Fair” in which clubs and organizations can rent tables to pass out flyers and information to incoming freshmen. This is a great way to recruit members who could potentially be involved in your chapter for their entire college career!
If your university or college doesn’t host a similar event, don’t be afraid to ask the student activities office if there is a way your chapter can become involved helping with new student orientation. Faculty is often required to attend orientation days in order to assist incoming freshmen sign up for classes. Ask your student activity office or professors in your English Department if you can assist with advising and promote your local chapter.
After talking with the student activities office, have members and your Chapter Sponsor organize a meeting to brainstorm what events would help improve recruitment the most. Bake sales, poetry readings, and writing workshops are some great places to start. A meeting provides the chance to get more involved with your campus community and gives the chapter an opportunity to pass out flyers and get to know other students who may be interested in joining. Make sure you have the student activities office information on hand during the meeting. Once the meeting has concluded you can email the office with any questions you may have regarding organizing your event.
One Last Member Recruitment Tip
Don’t be afraid to collaborate with other clubs and organizations when planning events. Finding clubs to co-host events both allows for more man power and fosters cross-communication between clubs in the same department. Finding writing and book clubs, or a campus literary magazine to organize events is a fun way to recruit members. Frequently students will participate in more than one club at a time; therefore, collaborating and communicating with like-minded organizations is a great way to increase Sigma Tau Delta chapter membership!
Additional Sigma Tau Delta Resources
What ideas do you have to foster new member recruitment in your chapter?
By Michelle Springer
Associate Student Representative, High Plains Region, 2016-2017
Zeta Psi Chapter
University of Northern Colorado, Evans, CO