Student Government and Organizations (State-Operated)
Promoting Engagement in Student Organizations, SUNY Potsdam
The SPW initiative has been extremely effective. Numerous offices are involved in the SPW advisory group and share in the cost of producing the publications. In Fall 2006, our annual student assessment of 1,381 students revealed the following:
We feel SPW has significantly enhanced the communication systems by which students, faculty and staff learn about campus events as well as opportunities for engagement (including club and organization membership).
The Welcome Team/Welcome Weekend Carnival and web-page initiatives have also been successful. Approximately 160 students representing over 40 different student organizations participate in the Fall & Spring Leadership Conference Programs annually. These marketing opportunities serve as a “perk” for participating groups and are often referenced to as a source of increased student membership in groups.
The Student Organization Banner and Photo Wall Displays have also been effective as evidenced by the continued interest in new groups to participate in the displays. To date, we have 40 groups participating in the Banner Display and 44 participating in the Photo Wall Display. The Admissions Office has included both displays on their tour for prospective students as a way to demonstrate the numerous ways in which students can become involved.
In summary, the combined impact of all of these initiatives has been tremendous in promoting student engagement in clubs and organizations on campus. Student organizations have been integrated into major campus event promotion, planning and implementation. The success of SPW has resulted in student organizations (as well as campus offices) striving to plan ahead in order to include their events and as such reach a wider audience. Further, the visual displays in the Union and the participation in clubs and organizations in Welcome Weekend activities has helped to set a tone of engagement for new students as early as their first tour of campus and that concept of engagement is reinforced through Welcome Weekend.
In all of the above mentioned initiatives, collaboration has been critical in achieving success. SPW was developed in consultation with an advisory board that continues to meet regularly, comprised of members representing a wide variety of student organizations as well as representatives from all campus offices offering events for students. Further funding has been obtained from the following areas to support one or more of the initiatives outlined: Student Government Association (SGA), All Greek Council (AGC), Division of Student Affairs, PACES, Athletics, Dance & Drama, Gibson Art Gallery, Community Performance Series, Intramurals, Public Affairs, and the President’s Office. Most importantly, through SPW, faculty/staff and student leaders are in regular communication about their events as well as overall needs. This has helped to foster numerous collaborations such as campus offices offering activities as part of our Student Entertainment Services SpringFest Week as well as numerous clubs and organizations offering events as part of college coordinated activities such as Winter Fest and Welcome Weekend. Finally, the concepts for both the Banner Display and Photo Wall Display were conceived by our Student Leadership Initiative Committee, an advisory board, comprised of student leaders, that helps to design & implement numerous leadership initiatives on campus.
Please see section on program effectiveness.