Student Government and Organizations (State-Operated)
Promoting Engagement in Student Organizations, SUNY Potsdam
The Office of Student Involvement & Leadership is charged with promoting student involvement in the outside of classroom experience to include participation in leadership activities such as club & organization membership, as well as participation in campus events. A variety of initiatives have been developed to better inform students of the wide variety of opportunities for engagement provided at the college as follows:
- SUNY Potsdam Weekly (SPW) (implemented September, 2003)
- Student Planner with club and organization involvement guide
- Wall Calendar with club events/activities
- Weekly table tents in all dining facilities and fliers listing campus events posted across campus, both with a special highlight of an Event and/or Student Organization of the Week
- Student Organization Banner Display (implemented April, 2004)
- Welcome Team & Welcome Weekend Carnival/Student Organization Fair (implemented August 2004)
- Student Organization Photo Wall Display (implemented March 2005)
- Student Organization Web Page Design Initiative (implemented January 2006)
The goals of this initiative are to:
- Provide an on-going, multi-media campaign to promote campus events and opportunities for involvement in leadership activities (with a strong focus on student clubs/organizations).
- Highlight student clubs and organizations prominently in the Student Union with the goal of increasing awareness of and participation in leadership activities.
- Provide opportunities for prospective and new students to become aware of what the college has to offer and to help them find an area of interest in which to participate.
Prior to this initiative, no coordinated promotion of either campus events and/or student organizations was in place at the college. A major campus need existed to have a coordinated student event calendar to ensure that activities were spread out across the academic year as well as help foster collaboration among student groups and campus offices coordinating activities. Further, a strategy was needed to inform students of the numerous opportunities for engagement in clubs and organizations: having two high profile displays in the Student Union has helped meet this need.
SUNY Potsdam Weekly (SPW)
SPW is a multi-media campaign designed to promote student awareness of and participation in campus events (to include club and organization events/membership). SPW includes:
- Student Planner with an extensive student club and involvement guide as well as events listed on each day. The planner is provided free to all residential students and available for sale in the College Store.
- By-semester wall calendar of events – hung across campus and also provided free for students to use as a poster in their rooms/apartments.
- Weekly Table Tents in all dining facilities & fliers posted across campus, both including a featured event of the week typically linked to a student club/organization
- Campus TV Station with event listing & movies (Channel # 6)
- Web-page: http://www.potsdam.edu/studentlife/spw/ (includes weekly event listing as well as numerous links to on & off-campus points of interest)
- Facebook Group
Student Organization Banner Display & Student Organization Photo Wall Display
The Student Union features two unique displays highlighting student clubs and organizations. A felt banner display allows groups to highlight their organization in any creative way they choose. The banners are similar to flags which represent each group. The photo wall display allows each organization to represent their group through photos of their membership participating in events and activities related to their group’s function. Additionally, contact information about each group is provided to facilitate easy communication of interested students with the group’s Executive Board. Both displays feature a wide variety of campus student organizations to include SGA recognized groups, Greek organizations, and Academic Honor Societies.
Student Organization Web Page Design Initiative
As part of our Spring Student Leader Conference, every student organization in attendance has the opportunity to develop their own web page to be listed in our Involvement Index. Prior to this time, many organizations did not have a web page and those that were in place, were not linked together in an easy to search format. This effort has helped to promote awareness of involvement for both current as well as prospective students.
Welcome Team & Welcome Weekend Carnival/Student Organization Fair
Every student organization that participates in our Fall Student Leader Conference has a booth at our Welcome Weekend Carnival. The Carnival is the major event of welcome weekend and attracts well over 500 students annually. The Carnival serves as an organizational fair in that each group not only staffs and runs a Carnival Activity, but also has materials available about their club in an effort to recruit new members as well as publicize upcoming events/activities. Additionally, these same groups also participate in our new student Welcome Team: a group of returning students that helps new students move into the residence halls. Each student gets a “Welcome Team” shirt that they can personalize with information about their club/organization. Both of these initiatives help to promote the concept of involvement to new students right at the start of the academic year.
Page 2: Program Effectiveness, Collaboration, and Outcomes