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Organization is key when it comes to putting a group together. Without great organization skills, the club can only go so far until it falls apart. Organization leads to great advertisement and promotion, which is key when trying to attract new members to the club or people to an event. For example, CCF has over 300 members because they have a hired staff to organize all of the events and CCF on Friday nights. Even though Swing Kids does not have a hired staff to organize their events, they have specified leaders who give up their time to plan Swing Kids and without those leaders there wouldn't be Swing Kids. Organization is key to a vision, goal and purpose within a club.
An effective organizational strategy for any club has a few major components. The first component should be that a club must come to an agreement on the mission or purpose for the group. For example, on the Campus Christian Fellowship (CCF) website, it states "We strive to assist students in their desire to know Jesus Christ and apply his teachings to their lives." CCF does this by reaching out and spreading the news of God and faith to the rest of the student body. The second effective organizational strategy that a club needs is to plan out events or meeting in advance. This strategy is shown through Swing Kids. They plan all of their big events at the beginning of the year in order to be organized and make sure a space or an area is available. Although both of these clubs are vastly different with their intentions and goal they must plan in advance in order to achieve their mission or purpose. A third effective organizational strategy is recruitment. Once a club has been founded, how do you get the word out. Most clubs use the events fair, which is an opportunity at the beginning of the school year to have a booth about a club. This is the way most students learn about different clubs on campus. However, fliers and word of mouth are very prominent recruitment techniques as well. Finally, funding. Although clubs at Western get $50 to start with, many clubs need more than that. So, the organization has to decide whether it will charge its members, focus on donations, or host events.
Problems that Student Organizations Face
Many student organizations face a common set of organizational problems. This section describes the organizational problems that student organizations face including problems with membership, planning for events, leadership, and communication.
Problems With Membership[edit | edit source]
Problems with membership can be a huge issue especially with new emerging clubs. Depending on the mission statement, a large group of members may be necessary in order to fulfill the clubs goals. In other groups too many members can lead to not receiving as much participation as wanted. In regards to membership clubs face issues ranging from new member recruitment to members fighting. If not dealt with effectively, these problems can lead to the disbandment or eventual dissolution of a club.
One problem with membership that the Scottish Country Dance Club has is that there are only 2 male members, this means that girls are having to wear "man-bands" and dance the males role.
KUGS requires that people volunteer for a certain period of time before they receive pay, which sometimes deters people from becoming involved.
Western's Rugby Club lacks the potential of recruiting new members to the organization that are willing to stay fully committed. As the seniors on the team graduate, it gets a little harder for the team members to find new members that can show the same dedication towards the sport which would be their downfall.
Problems With Missions and Goals[edit | edit source]
In my time interviewing the Submarine club, there seemed to be a stalemate with the progress of the Club. They have had great achievements in their past endeavors and now face a question of where to go next. There is a newer smaller sub that is in progress but the annual races are a ways away and the submarine team seems to be drifting with the current. Speaking with the leader of the club she sounded confident they would create more exciting subs that would compare to the highly funded competition. For now the Sub team sits patiently, with their large Viking sub in storage to one day rejoin the competition and make & break goals the members have.
Problems Recruiting New Membership[edit | edit source]
The Hui’ O Hawaii club met with difficulties recruiting new members due to a lack of public awareness of the club. This is partially due to their absence at the Fall Info Fair this past year. However they were represent at the Spring Club Fair, and got some publicity but since then there have been no big recruiting drives. The root cause of HOH's recruitment difficulties is simply its less-than-proactive attitude towards going out and trying to find new members. HOH seems to rely heavily on sheer luck and the initiative of potential members who seek them out rather than making an effort to develop an effective recruitment strategy. Another way of getting new members is by word of mouth; current members will discuss the club with friends who will show up to a meeting and if interested join. While these recruitment tactics do have the advantage of drawing only those dedicated enough to seek out the club, they also mean that the clubs using them will be somewhat lacking in numbers. WWU Cycling club was having similar problems with recruitment and discovered that one of the best ways to find new members was to leave flyers for their club on people's bikes. A good way to increase recruitment for other clubs may be to pin point where they choose to advertise so that those who would be interested in the group, based on hobbies and activities, will be the ones who will see the flyer.
Western Men Against Violence has always had issues advertising itself, but the most recent years have been particularly difficult. Changes in university policy have caused them to be unable to advertise easily and effectively inside the dorms, and therefore they have lost an important part of their recruiting capabilities.
Campus Christian Fellowship has struggled with increasing in members mainly since they only advertise by word of mouth and select events on campus each year. Though the events that CCF holds on campus usually draw attention and the number of members does still increase, there is a desire within the group to see more members attend each week.
Western's Rugby Club does not necessarily have problems with recruiting new members, but instead has a difficult time keeping members. The team mentioned they always receive a high turnout, but as the year goes on, loses the majority of the men.
Dead Parrot's society has had lots of problems with advertising their shows and club in general. It is based on word of mouth and that isn't an effective strategy if you are trying to open the experience up to a wider variety of people.
The Student- Homeless Outreach Team has come a long way since their first established quarter in the spring of 2008. Still they face many obstacles that are impairing their clubs effectiveness. Their main fallback is not having enough people to fulfill the tasks needed. They face the difficulty of having the time to recruit; this takes money, time, and a lot of effort to advertise. As stated by a fellow group member, “I think their needs could be covered generally by recruitment.” With only four members they spend the entire quarter preparing for the event “Be Our Guest.” In several other clubs, such as the Making Western Diverse club and the A’Capella group they all carry the general theme of wanting to advertise for the club more in order to receive an increased number of members. These groups also provided evidence from their interviews that the clubs do not have the funding to recruit or the time. As new clubs are being established, since each of these clubs mentioned above are fairly new, they all face the struggle of how to advertise effectively. With extra help and a little bit of time these clubs would be beneficial to the entire community rather than the small, secluded portion currently involved.
Campus Christian Fellowship has struggled with gaining new members and leaders. At the beginning of the year the club advertises through a fair but during the year they rely on word of mouth. Although this does bring in some new members, it is not as effective and does not increase the membership as much as the leadership in the club would like. This problem with lack of new members/leadership is also an issue because there are not enough core leaders to lead the small groups that are a part of CCF. This is frustrating to the leadership of CCF because they would like to keep the core groups small and have as many people as possible join core groups.
Voices for Planned Parenthood (VOX) also experiences problems recruiting members. While membership has gone up this year due to active recruiting attempts, the club's members are mainly women (currently there is only one male member). The club feels like there is a lack of men is an issue. This is mainly because Planned Parenthood and sexual health, the members feel, is for both men and women since it is about safe sex. The club feels that sometimes men seem uncomfortable talking about such things when they are tabling or, as in a certain instance, they say testing is more of a woman’s concern and believe that having more males at events and tabling will help curb these reactions from men.
Campus Christian Fellowship struggles with maintaining strong awareness for the organization. It is always a concern and they are always trying to find even better ways to improve outreach; so, students old and new know that Campus Christian Fellowship is an organization with open arms.
Although Students Against Civilization does very well in retaining members, gaining new membership is a recurring issue. This club predominantly communicates by word of mouth, and is an organization whose views are held by very few. Students Against Civilization has always encouraged anyone and everyone to attend meetings, but has always struggled with getting its message and motives out to the general public.
In the Planned Parenthood group on campus, they face many problems with recruiting. They have plenty of girls within the Planned Parenthood group, but they lack male membership. The group thinks that if they get more male involvement then the goals they are trying to accomplish on campus will be more affective. They want to increase STI testing and the men on campus feel they don't need to listen to Planned Parenthood because it is a women group. That creates a huge problem for the people involved in the group since their goal is to promote safe sex and, most of the times, it starts with the men.
It has been recognized the WWU club Students for Disability Awareness (SDA) has a problem with having enough members. Because of this struggle, communication is difficult, as there are not very many people to get a hold of.
The Photography Club has a hard time getting more members to join because there is not a high awareness or understanding of the club. Not a lot of people know about it and those who do know about it may think that they are not skilled enough to join even though it is open to all skill levels.
The Jewish Chabad has found difficulty in getting the word out that their group exists. The Jewish Chabad discussed that there isn’t a single extremely effective way of letting people know about the group.
Problems with New Member Auditions/Rehearsal[edit | edit source]
A'capella Club Although the A'capella club has no issue with the recruitment of members due to their invite-only procedure, the club only has one person solely in charge of the auditioning process. Because the recruitment and auditioning processes have not been well documented, the club will have problems finding an effecting method after the person in charge of the current procedure graduates from Western.
Problems With Inexperienced New Members[edit | edit source]
KUGS radio goes through a re-hiring process every year, having to invest time and effort into training new staff and volunteers in order to keep things running smoothly since there are so many aspects to maintaining a radio station, especially with their need for specific knowledge about technological aspects.
The Student Homeless Outreach Team’s members biggest problem is their lack of members. The current members know that it may be difficult to integrate new members into their system at this point in the year, but that eventually it is going to be essential in keeping the mission of the club alive.
Students for Renewable Energy, a club at Western Washington University that has made the Western campus powered by 100% sustainable energy sources, is also facing the issue of inexperience in their club. For the first time in quite a while, all of the current leadership is graduating, which means that they need to add underclassmen to the club who are passionate about the issues. But the current vice president of Students for Renewable Energy added that in the 2006-2007 school year, there were only 4 returnees which forced the club to re-evaluate what they wanted from the club and what goals they wanted to achieve. It took the entire year to restructure the club because there were lots of clashing personalities. Although it will be a challenge to integrate new students into the club, it is necessary to keep the club alive. And with new people come new ideas which could benefit Students for Renewable Energy and help them to affect the Western Washington University community in a positive way.
Problems With Variable Membership: Decreases or increase in number of members[edit | edit source]
Western Washington University’s LEAD group it is often in such high demand that the number of volunteers seeking to get involved far outnumbers the maximum capacity allowed by the groups resources. This problem requires the group to expand, a feat especially troubling given the university’s current financial constraints.
Western's Rugby Club's greatest issue is getting newly recruited players to commit. Although a good number of newcomers will initially appear in the fall, the team roster always dwindles as the year wears on. The first few months are the hardest for the team in terms of keeping recruits interested in continuing participation.
In regards to the first paragraph above, there needs to be an introductory overview of what the university’s current financial constraints consists of. There needs to be specific numbers involving the amount of funds needed to run LEAD's group, and state how university’s current financial constraints relates to the amount of funding needed for LEAD.
I feel this first paragraph needs to changed because "the university’s current financial constraints" is too general and vague. There needs to be specific numbers mentioned to show the relationship to the groups current funding. This needs to be placed as an introduction, so the reader will understand what is at play, and not be left wondering what financial constraints there are. to deal with.
The Tango Club needs more publicity done throughout the year. There was a decrease in membership over the past year that is connected to the lack of publicity because first quarter they had forty plus members with posters out on campus whereas now with no publicity being done, the number drops to fifteen members.
A pending issue Slum Doctor Club faces is a decrease in key members, such as the club's current co-founder and president due to graduation. The club's solid members are upperclassmen, and without recruitment of new, younger members very soon, the club may not make it through the next few years.
The Ritmo Salsa club has a much higher membership in the start of the year, which gradually dwindles towards the end. There are a lot of freshman looking to try out new clubs, so the number of people showing up to meetings is very high in the fall. But as the year goes on, the number returning members gets much lower.
Problems Scheduling Membership Meetings and Activities[edit | edit source]
Associated Students is a huge group of people that their goal for the club is to get people involved with the school and get people to go to the events, films, and concerts that they put on for the students and community around Bellingham. But its hard with so many members in one club to get together on a weekly basis and get them all together on time and get everyone organized for the events. Its something that may be hard to fix but they are hoping one day to fix their problem of participation.
The only main area of weakness that LEAD seems to have is the need to be able to accommodate more people into work parties. LEAD only has three main members involved within the group sometimes resulting in a volunteer overload where community volunteers have to be turned away from various service and or community projects.
The Students for Disabilities Awareness club has had issues in scheduling group meetings of significant size simply due to the fact that the club has only been around for two years.
A problem that many groups are facing, for example the group SMASH, is funding or fund raising. This group has been struggling to get the funds to continue to support their group, this is from lack of public or private awareness and funding.
Problems with meeting attendance[edit | edit source]
In the Cycling Club, the Vice President pointed out that although they communicate rather easily on the cycling website through the discussion board. There is a lack of members attending meetings that are schedule if the meeting wasn't significant to the biker, or because during the season it gets fairly busy for bikers to attend frequent meetings. In the Harry Potter Club, the President said that they don't take attendance at the meetings because they don't want to make members feel like they have to come, or feel bad for missing a meeting. This potentially causes the effect is that if a member does not like the activity that is planned for the night, they just wont go, causing there to be lower attendance.
Although the experienced members of the Scottish Country Dance Club are helpful and love spreading their knowledge of country dancing, it is still hard to have an affective practice time when all the members are not at the same level of skill. Because the members of the SCDC are busy, attendance from week to week varies; this causes a great variety in ability between the members.
One of Sexploration's main problems is getting new members to attend their meetings. Although Sexploration uses quite colorful posters to advertise meetings very few people attend. This certainly is not due to disinterest in sex but could be due to the taboo nature of the topics discussed or a lack of publicity.
The Club STAND has a problem with meeting attendance because the members just get burnt out on everything that they have to do to keep the club going. So members just decide not to show up which causes the attendance of the meeting to be very minimal.
With the Dead Parrots society if members aren't attending the closed rehearsals it makes it hard for them to put the show together because it's more of a structured setting.
The photography club had a big issue with members attending the meetings. When people don't show up to the meetings then they don't have pictures to show or talk about, which is the whole purpose of the club.
One of the biggest issues with the Scottish Country Dance Club is the meeting attendance. The leader said meetings can range from 8 to 20 members making it difficult to rehearse for upcoming performances. Also, when small clubs such as the Scottish Country Dance Club are not able to fill their meetings consistently with all the students who have signed up, problems arise that can range from miscommunications concerning practice times, missed opportunities for exposure to the club subject in local events such as Folklife or other area internationally themed events, as well as putting the continuation of the club into another quarter in jeopardy.
Problems with ineffective resolution of member conflicts[edit | edit source]
In any gathering of people there is the potential for conflict—whether the club is Western Men Against Violence, or the Western Rugby club. In most cases these conflicts can be dissipated through peaceful means such as talking or mediation. However, on occasion, such conflicts are not resolved and lead to harm. This harm can be in the form of trash talking, name calling, or rumor-mongering, and in perhaps in some extreme cases—physical attacks. While such conflict is often personal in nature, and thus hard to avoid, poor leadership of meetings or lack of supervision of events can exacerbate conflicts. Thus it is important for groups to learn how to deal with conflict in order to be a more effective and efficient club.
One club ran into problems with disagreements over leadership last year. The resolution of this conflict was when the group split apart. The agitated party left the club all together rather than trying to rebuild and reconnect with other members.
Problems With Leadership[edit | edit source]
Problems Recruiting Leadership[edit | edit source]
Sexplortions main problem is that there are so few leadership positions. With only two leaders to get everything done, not only is the future uncertain when the leaders graduate, but there are not enough people to help recruit new members as well as advertise for upcoming events.
Problems Passing On Leadership Skills and Experiences[edit | edit source]
Many clubs have one person to lead the club. For example, the sexploration club has one person that does most of the work. the leader of the club is a senior and will be graduating this spring so that makes clear that they are going to need another leader to do all of this work.
Even when a club as more than one club leader, such as with the Ritmo Salsa club, if most of the leaders are members of the same grade then upon graduating the collective leadership knowledge of that group of leaders will be lost. The club will then be forced to elect a whole group of new, untrained leaders who will have to learn from scratch how to govern the club.
Women in the Woods The current leaders of Women in the Woods do not know the founders of the club well which makes it hard to carry on a legacy for future club members. The e-mail list of contacts is also inconsistent. Since there are so few regular members, it has been difficult to find leaders that are willing to step up and plan the trips which can often be very intimidating. If they are unable to find effective leaders this year, it could be even more difficult next year, especially without a founder of the club to help.
Besides carrying on the legacy and finding more people to join the club there is another problem that women in the woods face, which deals with promoting. This problem comes from the fact that there isn't very many members, without being able to find more members, activities can not be promoted causing people to not know about women in the woods.
WWU Body Building Club One problem that the WWU Body Building Club is going to be faced with is when the creator and leader graduates; she wants to make sure that the club continues and falls into the right hands because this is an important club. Another Problem the club has is funding. The club cannot hold events, go to competitions, or advertise without the proper funding.
A'capella Club Although the A'capella Club at Western has a great leader right now, there is concern that after he is gone the club will dwindle because his driving motivation might leave with him.
Hui O' Hawaii Leadership in the Hui O' Hawaii group is loosely fixed, members share responsibility in all aspects of leadership, there is a hope that by handling leadership in this way will teach everyone the necessary skills and processes need for leadership so that one of the members can take over at the start of the new year, while receiving help from other members. Leaders are not groomed in advance, but instead step forward once the previous leader has stepped down. While this forms a sense of camaraderie, it may also mean that the leader cannot be as effective as they otherwise might.
World Injustice Awareness Club The problem that the WIAC faced was a lack of members because the past leader stepped down and did not give the current leader the contact information of the other members in the group; the past leader also stepped down late, and thus the current leaders were not able to set up a booth at the info fair.
Problems Related to Ineffective Leadership[edit | edit source]
The South Asian Student Association(SASA) faced a number of difficulties regarding ineffective leadership during the 2008 and 2009 school year. After a controversial election of the officers the club felt a strong division and split. With the older members leaving the group there was no transfer of knowledge of leadership skills. This led to a continual drop in membership after ineffective leadership. It culminated into the president and vice president dropping out and the steering rep running the meeting to only one or two attendees on average.
Problems with communication[edit | edit source]
Changing contact information[edit | edit source]
One problem Students for Renewable Energy had with regards to communication was that they were undergoing a change in leadership. This meant that all of the contact information on their website was outdated, making it impossible to contact continuing members and get updates about where to meet and/or if a meeting was moved or cancelled.
One problem that a few of the Dead Parrots Society members seemed to face was that the contact information provided seemed unreliable. Whether it was outdated organization, or it was lost in WWU's mess of an e-mail system, it's hard to say, but a few members said they did have to go through a few extra steps to really get in contact with the group.
Ineffective types of communication[edit | edit source]
One of the problems that ASP faces is a problem with effectively communicating when and where events are happening, due to many complications with publicity.
The Creators of Visual Art and Literature Society do not face the common problem of communicating from member to member, but in expressing what it is the club hopes to achieve.
One problem the Harry Potter club has is keeping their member's attention span the entire meeting. This is probably due to the fact that there is a lot of Harry Potter material on the internet, making it very easy to distract the club on some tangent that can end up not relating to Harry Potter at all.
A problem that the WWU body Building Club faces is with communication. Most communication is done through Facebook, which seems to work for them, but a more effective way of communication might be holding formal meetings.
Poor past relationship with the University.[edit | edit source]
The WWU Cycling club has had some problems in the past with communication and cooperation with the University. In a past race there was some damage to Western property that was handled poorly by the group leadership. The current leadership is working on building a relationship with the administration, as well as working with other groups to get their message out
Problems Related to Operations and Planning[edit | edit source]
Problems with Technological Advancement[edit | edit source]
The SMASH club has encountered a rather unique problem with the advancement of its technology. The club was started with the GameCube version of the game, "Melee." However, as the new version, "Brawl," came ot for Nintendo Wii, the group encountered a conflict of interest. They are still struggling to advance to the new version of the game because most of the members prefer to play the older version.
Problems With Funding[edit | edit source]
Funds are an important asset for many clubs on campus. Besides the AS start up contribution of $50 the clubs are responsible for coming up with the money to fund events and pay for supplies. To do so the club has three options, pay out of their own pocket, take out loans with the AS, or fundraise. Fundraising is a great tool for coming up with extra money; however often clubs are inhibited by their lack of members or opportunities to put on a successful fundraiser leading to a shortage of funds.
My club was Students for Disability Awareness and they had problems with funding that lead to a decrease in the number of events that this club was able to host. Money and funding are a key component to this clubs success.
The funding problem due to the photography club is since they are a fairly new club they do not have pre-existing funds left from previous members. Because there is no pre-existing money they have to fund-raise for field trips and a dark room that they have no current access to.
The Croquet club has trouble with funding because they struggle with finding funding and even starting a fundraiser. The funding in many clubs has decreased in the last few years. The leader of the club uses his own money to purchase equipment and prizes for the winners of their tournaments.
WWU Bodybuilding Club Like many other WWU campus organizations, one of the major problems that the bodybuilding club is faced with is a means of obtaining funds. Currently, their only mode of funding is money earned through selling jello (jelly) shots. There are many activities that the bodybuilding club would like to organize and be involved with but they just don't have the funds to support these efforts. Fundraising tactics need to change in order to allow this club to grow to its full potential.
Student Homeless Outreach Team One of the bigger struggles for the Student Homeless Outreach Team is fundraising. The reason why fundraising is so hard is because of the group’s membership. The group has the ability to recruit dozens of students for its quarterly event “Be Our Guest” but the core club only consists of four members. Although they have been successful with their event many other club necessities have been postponed because there are not enough members to fulfill certain duties, such as fundraising. Since “Be Our Guest” is based on the donation of meals to hungry members of the community the club doesn’t get any revenue off of the event and they rely on loans or grants from the Associated Students. In my interview with the group leader, she felt that if the club was able to recruit more members for the club then they would be able to spread out other duties such as publicity and event planning, there would be more time for fundraising. With more funds the club would be able to give money back into the community or sponsor events with other clubs to spread the awareness of hunger in other countries.
The Dead Parrot Society Many clubs, the Dead Parrot Society for example, only acquire funds through events that they host, so publicity for events is a critical issue for many clubs; without publicity they lose funding. Hui O' Hawaii is another club that had some problems with fundraising and according to the President, the problem stemmed from always getting off track during group meetings. They sometimes tended to run off topic, so fundraising ideas weren't always acknowledged.
The Dead Parrots Society's funding problems stem from publicity issues, but could be solved by using more accessible venues when hosting events, which would result in increased attendance.
Croquet Club One weakness that the Croquet Club suffers from is funding. While the club does get the 50 dollars from the school, this serves as a difficult process. Most of the money used for prizes, snacks, and trophies unfortunately come out of founder Devin Spencer’s own pocket. He also owns all of the equipment, which is altogether mismatched, worn out, broken, or outdated. Fund raising is simply a donation jar that Devin puts out every meeting. With adequate funding, this already enormously popular, up and coming club could afford better equipment, prizes, and snacks that do not have to come out of Devin’s own pocket. Croquet Club could also grow a great deal with more funding, surpassing many clubs in popularity and attendance.
Campus Christian Fellowship (CCF) CCF generally gets its funding through it members and its alumni. Every service there is an offering bucket passed around for those who would wish to donate or attribute money. The summer meetings for CCF are generally the hardest time for funding because most students go home for the summer and aren't in Bellingham to give money. This is a problem especially for the staff at CCF. That is why most of the staff do fundraising over the summer to make up for the money not be attributed by the students, parents or alumni.
CCF has also had the issue of legal action against it in the past which has hindered its ability to meet. The idea of a religious club on campus has proven to be problematic in the eyes of some, and the club has had to fight several legal battles to be able to keep its right to meet. For the most part, CCF has won these legal battles and the only loss the club has sustained is that the Core groups are no longer allowed to reserve dorm lounges for its weekly meetings.
Problematic Relationships With Other Clubs[edit | edit source]
Problematic relationships with other clubs can unfortunately arise, often out of competition for limited resources such as room space, funds, or time availability of members.
Problems Interacting With Or Communicating With Another Club[edit | edit source]
Sometimes Clubs can have difficulty communicating with each other due to the difficulty of working outside a normal structure.
For example, if Club A and Club B want to host a joint event, and both clubs have event planner officers who disagree about a course of action, conflict between clubs can emerge.
Recruiting and Membership
This section includes solutions to problems of recruitment and retention.
Recruitment refers to the process of screening, and selecting qualified people for a job at an organization or firm, or for a vacancy in a volunteer-based. Some components of the recruitment process, mid- and large-size organizations and companies often retain professional recruiters or outsource some of the process to recruitment agencies. Other ways that recruitment takes action is by getting the word out there for a certain organization to attract attention to the field of interest.
For example, a lot of clubs have a difficult time recruiting members, but many clubs have come up with strategical and effective means of recruitment. How clubs recruit members often depends on the nature of the club. A lot of Western’s clubs rely on word of mouth, and can often be found advertising their club at information fairs or in Red Square. In this section you will find many recruitment methods that have been successful for current Western clubs.
Recruitment[edit | edit source]
Recruitment refers to the process of screening, and selecting qualified people for a job at an organization or firm, or for a vacancy in a volunteer-based some components of the recruitment process, mid- and large-size organizations and companies often retain professional recruiters or outsource some of the process to recruitment agencies. Other ways that recruitment takes action is by getting the word out there for a certain organization to attract attention to the field of interest.
For example, a lot of clubs have a difficult time recruiting members, but many clubs have come up with strategical and effective means of recruitment. How clubs recruit members often depends on the nature of the club. A lot of Western’s clubs rely on word of mouth, and can often be found advertising their club at information fairs or in Red Square. In this section you will find many recruitment methods that have been successful for current Western clubs.
One of the key features for successful recruitment includes accessibility for the all too busy lives of many college students. The WWU Strongman Club is based at the Wade King Student Recreational Center (SRC) and is open to all Western students. The club administrators either work or spend a significant amount of time at the SRC which allows constant access by the members of this club. Unlike most other clubs where the club meetings and events are really the only time club members interact with the administrators and other members of the club, the WWU Strongman Club provides day to day opportunities for all members to talk with and benefit from the insight of the leadership. Since the main goal of the club is to inform the members on how to train, lift weights, and diet properly the success of this stems from being able to access the administrators who are well informed and experienced in sport science. The club has a Facebook page with 60 members and it provides a great way to keep in touch. It holds plenty of discussion topics and even more links to useful websites. Such websites have great information on healthy eating, the best and cheapest supplements and effective stretching. I would consider Facebook one of the club's main most effective recruiting method.
Another great way to feel part of the club is that the majority of the members train at the rec on a daily basis. Everyone is very willing to help each other out. I have asked multiple times for advice on a certain workout routine or for a spotter The SRC is open every day and is located on campus which allows ease of access by all on and off campus students. Becoming a member is as easy as putting your name on a list and sustaining membership means working out and dieting properly. This similar success has been noted by Allie Paul, Art Gallery Assistant Coordinator, who says that her job is a little easier to accommodate because the Art Gallery at Western is open every day and has a wide range of hours that let students wander in and out on their own time.
Another example of a club which has been successful in recruitment in a creative way is the Dead Parrot Society; The Dead Parrot Society has an interesting recruiting process for their club. You cannot automatically become a member, instead the members must specifically ask you to join their club. It is a try-out based recruiting process in which anyone can drop-in and participate every Tuesday night. On Tuesdays they, both the parrots and the drop-ins (however not all drop-ins want to be members, some go because it's funny and a good way to let off steam, but most of the drop-ins go because they eventually want to become members, but it does take a while). They play different acting games for two hours, improving their skills while having some laughs along the way. To advertise Tuesday drop-ins, participants tell their friends, use social networking on Facebook, and members announce open drop-in sessions after they present a show. In the croquette club they also use social networking and word of mouth as forms a recruitment. With more recruited members the club will grow and become much more popular. Doug, a three-year member of Dead Parrots, stated that he enjoys having a small group of Dead Parrots but the group is lacking popularity. Popularity is important to a successful organization and therefore recruiting is crucial to success.
Like the Dead Parrot Society the Rugby club is open to all new members and welcomes all. The difference between the two is that the Dead Parrot Society needs to keep its talent at its highest level when putting on shows to keep the fan count high. The Rugby club is more interested in allowing all members to participate in all aspects of the club. According to Jason and Rowan, members themselves, the club is "open to anyone who is interest about the sport." The goals of the club are to promote the sport, practice techniques, spread enthusiasm the sport, and most importantly to socialize. It is therefore not important whether a person looking to join is a seasoned veteran or new to the sport. In addition, members of the club are encouraged to talk about the club with their friends to continue to increase the publicity of the club.
One aspect of the Ritmo Salsa Club that is a big strength is the number of members for a club of its type. At the meeting that I attended, there were about 25 advanced dancers getting a lesson from two instructors as well as three or four beginning members being taught by two instructors. According to Rachel Mortan’s interview for the tango club, they have about twelve members that attend meetings each week. That is way less than the Salsa Club which shows that the Salsa Club is superior in getting a large number of members, especially towards the end of the year. Like many other AS clubs on campus, Ritmo Salsa Club recruits new members by word of mouth. Getting people excited about dancing is important when trying to get people to actually join the club so hearing about friends that are excited about it gets others involved. A strength of the Ritmo Salsa club is their ability to get word out about the club and get people interested. The person I interviewed at a meeting of the club said that they had heard about the club simply by word of mouth and hearing about her friends attending. Also, especially for clubs that involve activities such as dancing, a good way to get people excited about it enough to actually come to a meeting is to demonstrate. Performances give students a chance to see how much fun salsa actually can be which inspires them to go out and join the club.
The WWU Body Building Club is able to recruit all sorts of people, because a lot of students are into going to the Wade King Rec. Center and the club is open to anyone and everyone. You don't have to have a specific physique or even want to compete in competitions to be part of the Body Building Club. A lot of students go to the rec center whether it's to socialize or to work out, but the point is that the Body Building Club is located in a central popular location. A club similar to this (strength of easily recruiting members) is the Croquet Club. The Croquet Club, according to Zachery Stratton: "A major strength that the club has is recruitment; they are never short of people when they host events, such as tournaments and championships." In a town like Bellingham, sports and fitness are everywhere, clubs supporting any type of fitness do not have an issue with members. The Rugby Club is somewhat similar, as according to Marisa Mikelson's transcript they don't have a problem getting members, but they have a problem keeping them. The Body Building Clubs organization really contributes to the recruitment, the main leader (Stephanie Singer) is very personable, making it easy and no hassle to join!
The Scottish Country Dance Club at Western Washington University has trouble with recruitment due to the fact that the leaders of the group are very old. Their age gives them a disconnection to students which in turn contributes to the lack of members compared to many other groups on campus. At the same time, there is members of the group now because they were brought in by Tom or Rosemary. The fact that this elderly couple has such intense energy for the group is inspiring to some students. Another factor that leads to problems with recruitment is that the main student member that does the recruiting is a woman. If the one male in the group were to go out and try to get more men to join there would be a better chance of increasing the male members. If there were multiple girls to go out and just target men to join they would have better luck than one girl describing and talking about the group by herself. I think the number of members will increase because this group is so welcoming and more than willing to work with a new group member.
(A) A great place for a club like Students for Slum doctor Program to advertise their club would be around the fairhaven branch of Westerns campus, in south campus. There seems to be a good amount of knowledge in the students and faculty there regarding social issues, so recruitment for the club Students for Slum Doctors, or any other Social club could be very effective around Fairhaven. I have seem many clubs working outside red square for recruitment and fundraising activities, including the men against violence club, but many people are too busy when on campus to stop and look into clubs that interest them. I feel like getting deeper into the schools themselves, like Fairhaven or the anthropology department (especially for social issues clubs), would be a better place to advertise clubs and activities. Another good way to advertise events may be to ask a teacher in one of these classes to let you give a brief introduction to ones club and goals at the beginning or end of a class period, and possibly teachers could give extra credit to those people who choose to help/join. In all, It seems that recruitment must find its way deeper into the classroom in order to become more effective.
One aspect of Croquet Club, founded by Devin Spencer, that is never lacking is recruitment. Many different types of people come each month to have fun and compete in the age old sport of Croquet. The club is open to anyone and everyone, whether you are a student, alumni, or just someone who enjoys Croquet. Recruitment is simple and effective. Devin has made his own Croquet Club Facebook page especially for recruitment. It has descriptions of when each meeting/ tournament will be as well as a description of the previous week for those who could not make it. The page itself boasts over 100 members, with at least 20 or so members showing up for each event. The club is a very popular one, to say the least. They also recruit by rampant word of mouth, taking in all of those who wish to play an original, fun, exciting game complete with snacks, a leader board, and trophies up for grabs. Large groups of friends tend to come together to play and new, lasting friends have been made through Croquet Club. The pure fun factor of this club is all that’s needed to encourage different types of people, friends, acquaintances, or alumni to come back each month. Devin says that “we are starting the new wave of Croquet players. This is not a granny sport.” This quote illustrates that contrary to popular belief, Croquet is a blast and young people, especially college students, are enormously attracted to its fun, laid back, competitive qualities. Another club that has little problems with recruitment is The Photography Club. Similar to Croquet Club, you do not have to be of a certain skill level to show up and have a great time, so people of all backgrounds will show up for Photography Club in large, willing numbers. The WWU Body Building Club is also open to many different people of different physiques and skill levels, which attracts a large number of people interested in getting in better shape. Recruitment is based on different things throughout different clubs. The enjoyment that Croquet Club offers is more than enough to recruit many people effectively and without too much effort.
The Scottish Country Dance Club has been an established club at Western for the past 15 years, so they have been able to promote their club affectively and recruit new members consistently. Most of the members are recruited by general word of mouth, by friends of friends etc. Several of the members, however, were recruited by either Tom or Rosemary Read, who have been involved in the club since the beginning. Tom is a math professor and Rosemary teaches a dance class at Western so they encourage all of their students to get involved in the club. The club’s generally welcoming attitude and fun feeling attracts first timers to continue coming to club each week. The Scottish Country Dance Club is not intimidating because the current members are easy going and love teaching new dancers the steps of country dancing. So, everyone feels welcome and wanted.
The WWU Scottish Country Dance club founded around 1994 has seen a number of members come and go. The club currently has 9 members who come on a regular basis, but is always open to new members. Generally recruitment is done by word of mouth, or through the help of the founders Tom and Rosemary who are both teachers on campus. What’s great about the Scottish Country Dance club is you can be of any skill level. Their club ranges from very experienced dancers to some inexperienced ones, all are welcomed. In most clubs or sports this may not be the case. Usually, the more advanced or skilled players are the ones chosen to join and the less experienced are usually excluded. Instead the Scottish Country Dance club welcomes with open arms and is wiling to take the time to make sure each member not only develops as a dancer but also has a lot of fun.
Recruitment for Western Washington University's Scottish Country Dancing Club has been somewhat of a challenge. The club doesn't have a lot of regular members that attend the class every week. There is around nine regular members to show you how little of a group it is. There is roughly give-or-take 15 people that are present for the club weekly. There are several different ways of recruiting for the club. One method is simply by word-of-mouth. The regular attendee goes around in between classes and in their classes as well. They also try and wear shirts that support Scottish Country Dance to hopefully get other people to ask questions and be interested in the club. Another way of recruitment is simply just having posters to advertise the time the club meets and it gives the contact information for those who are interesting in getting more information about the club if the poster or flyer did not meet their needs. Recruitment has been a little bit of a struggle, but is still hopeful and expects to get more people interested in Scottish Country Dance Club.
KUGS the local radio station on campus at Western Washington has been established for almost 35 years. They have a successful system down of recruiting paid employees along with volunteers. KUGS starts reviewing applications for volunteers for the upcoming quarter during dead week. Each volunteer will receive their own two hour spot of reading the news live on the air. After news reading for a quarter a volunteer can move up in the radio station to having their own speciality show where they get to choose the music they want to play on the radio. Along with volunteers the radio station is ran by eight paid employees who are responsible for making sure all the behind the scene work is taken care of. KUGS begins its hiring for its paid employees during spring quarter along with the Associated Students. The method of applying to become part of KUGS is traditionally different from other clubs on campus like the sailing club where students are recruited primarily by word of mouth and from the sailing class. However I feel that KUGS method of applying creates more motivation and dedication from interested students because it allows for flakey students to be eliminated at the very beginning of the application process. KUGS has a place for anyone interested in learning more about how a radio station is ran and what goes on behind the scene.
The VOX: Planned Parenthood club at Western Washington University has very little difficulty attracting students with a membership of over 40 people, but they have struggled to attract members of both sexes. The vast majority of VOX's members are female. They believe this is because men feel that Planned Parenthood is a "female organization" and that VOX is a "female club." Western's Tango club struggles with a similar problem, having a female to male ratio of 3 to 1. VOX members regularly set up booths in red square and hand out information and free condoms in an attempt to attract students of both genders to come talk to them, but they have continually found that girls are much more likely to join the club. Booths in Red Square are the clubs main form of recruitment, but they also recruit by word of mouth of current members. The club continues to thrive with its female majority, but would greatly benefit from a more even ratio. While not all clubs will struggle with this problem it is generally beneficial to have roughly equivalent representation from both genders, especially in matters concerning sexual health.
From what I've learned by being involved in Students Against Optional Clothing, organization and event planning seems to be a definite problem. An organization strategy that I believe would be effective for this group would be informing more people of this specific group. Before becoming apart of this group I had never heard of this club before. I think if the club wants to recruit more members they need to make themselves more available to the public. By posting flyers around campus, creating a Facebook account, and possibly word of mouth they will be able to recruit more members. Since the club lack members planning events and meeting are difficult. The more people that are aware of this club the more people they will be able to recruit. Which will make organizing events easier and more efficient. Looking through other groups the Harry Potter Club and the Ritmo Salsa club also seems to have a problem with recruitment and organization. As I mentioned before, these clubs need something to make the people more aware of these clubs. Posting flyers, handing out pamphlets, and word of mouth would be a good first step in informing people and gaining members.
WWU's A'Capella Club is a recently formed club as of 2008. Because of its recent creation, the group and it's leader are still in the molding process in making it a solid group so recruitment of new members is open to all, similar to what you would see with Campus Christian Fellowship. If you have talented singing voice and are willing to show what you've got to the public than you are more than welcome. Generally recruitment will be done through word of mouth in order to gain popularity amongst students, but later on they are hoping to set up some signs and posters amongst the campus. One of their goals is to have a culmination on some of the most talented voices at WWU to create an award winning a'capella group. The group does offer a more exclusive male singing group run by the leader that does require a try out. Through this members can gain a better loyalty to the group which would help them carry on the groups traditions, rules, overall organization.
From the many different posts above it shows that the clubs on our campus use many different techniques for recruitment. Some of the most common threads between these clubs is word of mouth and social networking. Most of the above clubs have a Facebook group to try and interest new students into joining the club. But without word of mouth from current members of these clubs, recruiting would be a very difficult task, and this seems to be the most effective method for recruiting new members.
The number of players that need to be recruited can be a careful balance. For certain sports, such as the Croquet Club, the numbers need to be kept low in order to have enough materials since croquet materials are not easily come by. On the other hand, there must be enough participants to keep the fun up. Also if more students participated, there would be a greater opportunity to fundraise and a stronger drive to find the money. Although clubs such as World Injustice Awareness Club and Western Men Against Violence clubs feel that they have a problem with recruitment to their clubs, sports clubs such as Croquet have effective organization when they realize what an appropriate number for their activity is.
Invite Based Recruitment[edit | edit source]
The underlying goal behind every Associated Students Club is to bring students together around a common cause or concept. Every club does their very best to appear welcoming and appealing, but gaining new members is a constant challenge. Invitation based recruitment is likely the most effective method of recruiting new members given that it establishes a sense that a person's presence truly is desired at the meeting, it affirms that the club is legitimate, and it instills a personal tie into the group so that the new person could truly feel welcomed and important.
The A'Capella Club at WWU is new as of the 2008-2009 school year, yet they have employed some recruitment techniques that prove very useful. Although the group is open to all students, there is an exclusive performance subgroup of male singers which is put together by the group's leader. As this is the first year the group has been together, it has been possible for the recruitment and shaping of the ideal group to be done by the original members and leader. However, in future years, there will be no original members. By word of mouth and the use of invitations, personal recruitment can ensure that future members will meet the standards of the original group. Also, by handing down leadership positions to a trustworthy and loyal member, the group can maintain the same organization and codes of conduct. Similar to the A'capella Club, the Rugby Club personally invites members, continuing and ensuring a club full of members that would be approved by the original members.
Campus Christian Fellowship (CCF) is an evangelical Christian group the meets on campus at WWU on Friday nights. The group was created in the spring of 1972 and is still growing with over 300 members. Although CCF has over 300 members from Western Washington University, Skagit Community College and Whatcom Community College, they are always open and wanting more. CCF is a group that recruits members solely by word of mouth, events and invites by current members. CCF is not a closed group and is open to anyone and everyone. There is no process to becoming a member; simply show up. One quality of CCF that is appealing to visitors is the passion that the group contains. There is a passion among the members of CCF for what they believe that is almost overwhelming as a visitor, but yet a sight that can't be experienced elsewhere. In an interview with Brady Bobbink, who is the head pastor for CCF, he said, “Over years the essential structure that any student who comes in is cared for, helped along.” When a new student comes to CCF they are welcomed with open arms and every Friday night there is a form of a treat to welcome the new student or member. Much like CCF, the Tango and Salsa clubs have such a passion for their club and are open to anyone who would like to join. These three clubs at WWU are open groups that gain awareness by their own members and by word of mouth.
The Photography club is a fairly new campus club that takes pride in the art of photography. The club was recently started by Carmen Daneshmandi and meets at 6pm on Mondays. The club is open to all people interested in photography. There is no requirement besides having a camera so you can take part in photographing images you wish to share with the club. There is no camera that will not work for the club, for example some great pictures have been taken from camera phones. Again all people are welcome and the only requirement is that you find your own camera.
Word of Mouth[edit | edit source]
Word of Mouth is the most effective way of recruiting members in community of another's interest. Often including passing on information through group members by dialogue to other about unique skills or interest of the club/group in question. Usually attracting new recruits who already know at least one member and can acclimatize/ be more comfortable in starting activities free from nervousness. In making peers and community members relate to members it is possible to perhaps all move forward in a united effort to accomplish goals. Examples of ways to use informative word of mouth used at Western Washington University clubs include:
The Students Against Civilization don't go out of their way to recruit members; the club grows in the same way as the CCF, tango, and salsa clubs, via the mechanism of word of mouth. They have the advantage of a club that is so immensely intriguing and important that kids come simply to hear what there is to be said on the topic. After seeing that there is no fee or other requirements for membership, they tell all their friends how great the club is and in this way the club grows all the time. The club elders warmly welcome newcomers and the whole atmosphere is very open and inviting. The intellect on display draws students back time and time again as their contemplation over night of the prior discussion gets the inner cogs turning and the student finds themselves unable to resist the savory debate.
Just as The Students Against Civilization, the Creators of Visual Art and Literature Society also do not make it a priority to recruit their members. Aside from an information fair towards to beginning of the year, they receive most of their members by word of mouth. As most groups do, the members of this club all share common interests and attend to create. Because most of these members share common interests they often fall into the same social groups. Several of the members are in other clubs together or joined because they were already acquainted with members of the club. Different from The Students Against Civilization club in that they are content with a slow in flux of members but similar to the A’Capella club in that “If they wanted, they could become much more well known”, the members of Visual Art and Literature Society seem to be very content with their quiet status, they are happy to meet once or twice a week and create just for the fun of it.
In the A'Capella Club members spread the word of this club through the main use of verbal communication. Many of the club's audience consist of friends, and the passing crowd. However, because their club revolves around the use of auditory methods it can be heard from all around. So for example over the next school year, the A'Capella Club will be losing two members after graduation. In consequence they are now searching for two new members to audition for next years group. Using the word of mouth and communicating through their network of close friends and colleagues they are forming a tryout list that will consist of a typical song that the group will sing and a piece that the person auditioning could "show off" with. So in this case the methods of verbal recruiting is very effective due to the fact that they people informed are already interested and involved with the A'Capella club. Therefore, giving that passion that is associated with an effective and strong club.
Word of mouth has quite another meaning for spreading information about the A'capella Club. Since the group has quite a few performing members, it's very easy to go out on any given night and see the talent that the club has produced. By making themselves visible within the community they also give curious people a chance to talk to club members about what they like and (in rare cases) don't like about being in the A'capella Club. By making information easily available the information permeates every level of the school and that allows even the people that don’t attend the events to be aware of the club’s activities. This is remarkably similar to clubs like the Dead Parrot Society. They are both clubs full of performers who are out sharing their art with people and when they share their art they also leave people with an opinion of the club and its members. When people are constantly learning about student run organizations such as these it becomes easier for organizations to gather members even with members of the club graduating every year
(A)Unique skills give the club an extra boost in the word of mouth way. The A'capella group has members that compose their own music they provide a unique quality to their group. When people learn through word of mouth that original pieces are being performed this adds to the buzz about the group. When a club provides this kind of unique originality it gives them added popularity. As the Dead Parrots have the publicity of improvisation and the A'capella group have their original composition, each group finding their staple adds to how well they are known by word of mouth.
While some groups experience low attendance perpetuated by word-of-mouth reliance, as noted by Kendall Ring's analysis of Women in the Woods, the Campus Christian Fellowship's experience has been quite different. Despite the significant attendance clubs like CCF enjoy, word-of-mouth has one substantial failing as a recruiting tool. Garnering only members of similar inclination, the word-of-mouth technique has resulted in a homogenized community. Organizational unity is certainly a positive result, but the best interest of all clubs is served in diverse membership; humanity learns best not from harmonious solidarity, rather through clashes of thought. To this end, it is preferable for clubs to actively campaign themselves. Only by such means can disinclined individuals be introduced to club ideologies, potentially giving rise to altered evaluations.
Just as CCF, KSA (Korean Student Association) also recruits its members through word of mouth. However, unlike CCF, KSA could not have done information fair at the beginning of the quarter because KSA is a new club that is just created last winter quarter. In the interest of sharing Korean culture with other people at Western, KSA members introduce their club meeting to their friends and classmates. They also go and participate in other club meetings and other school events and tell people about the KSA. They are all very welcome for new members and let people to enjoy the time together. Furthermore, they have a Facebook group which is to make convenient for their members to communicate. That way, newcomers can make oneself more familiar with other club members.
The Dead Parrot society has a few problems, one of them being spreading the word around to be able to get new people interested in their organization. Even though they try to spread the word around through all the shows and they also try to tell people about it as much as they can to get people excited its still not enough and there's really not a lot of people that join. Its really hard to get people to join such a small group because there's really not a big fan base and there's not a lot of people that can spread the word around as there would be if there were more people to do it.
LEAD is a very well run organization/AS club. They are both effective at recruiting volunteers and members, as well as, getting funds to support the organization. LEAD is able to get many volunteers due to their collaboration with environmental studies/sciences classes here on campus. By partnering with and thus offering extra credit to volunteers, LEAD is able to get a very large pool of able-bodied volunteers. This is especially true for classes such as Environmental Science 101 that has upward of 500 students, with at least 200 of them a quarter vying for spots in work parties. Also helping them get volunteers is the fact that they are also partnered with the Bellingham school district and general word of mouth. Since they have become a respected and generally well-regarded student run organization, people from the community also volunteer. This is unlike other AS clubs, in that most are advertised from word-of-mouth only and don’t usually involve collaboration with Western Washington University classes. This, however, has proved to be a double-edged sword, as the ease at which they get volunteers has since reached the point of where it hurts LEAD more than it helps. This is because of the fairly low number of work parties. With so many people constantly trying to volunteer coupled with their limited members leads to a bottle necking of volunteers. This year for instance, has gotten to the point of where they couldn't even accept people for their wait lists. A way to solve this budget constraint would be to use word of mouth to make more clubs similar to LEAD. If they were to do this they could recruit more people because the budget would get split. When making more groups they can keep in mind that they can make the environment better, because not everybody is the best at everything. The other group could specialize in half the activities and LEAD could take the other half of the responsibilities. When they are specializing on the activities that they've chose, both groups will get farther in what they want to and they could actually double the process that they would be doing the following year. To get the word out to the interested young adults they could just announce it at the next meeting. They would saying "we will be splitting up (for example) in to LEAD A and LEAD B and each one will have different requirements," or something along those lines. Splitting this club would also mean, more people would be participating and less people will be on the waiting list, might even make Western Washington University have a better reputation.
Word of mouth combined with interest is a common theme for many AS club recruitment tactics such as the Western Men Against Violence group and the Homeless Outreach group. They utilize low key and non-aggressive recruitment tactics while still being active members of campus life/activities. This approach helps create a group that has a relaxed and communal feeling to it. Even though overall numbers are slightly hampered by it, the quality of each individual member seems to compensate for any lack of sheer force/manpower. Also, this style of recruitment blends extremely well with the theme/goal of the WMAV of non-aggression and control. However, this style also requires the current members to feel comfortable speaking with others about their involvement in the club. During interviews with WMAV, it was commented on that even (or perhaps especially) the older members were unwilling to speak to their friends/acquaintances about the club, because they were frustrated with the negative reactions they sometimes received. So, for some clubs the word of mouth style is theoretically a good idea, but in reality is ineffective.
In the Women and the Woods club most of their membership recruitment is through word of mouth. This technique works well for them. This works better for them because then it is directed toward people that want to be involved with the types of activities they participate in. Word of mouth also ensures knowing someone when entering the club. It can be easier to interact with new people when there is a familiar face next to them. They also post their activities on Facebook and welcome anyone to join in on the activities without being a member. This gives people a chance to see how well they enjoy the activities that happen within that club. This is a very inviting group that will take anyone who wants learn more about outdoor activities. Even though it says 'Women' in the Woods it is welcome to men as well. When talking with one of the leaders she mentioned that their boyfriends often come to their activities. With that advertising is not extravagant with the Women in the Woods but it is filled with members that want to be there and enjoy the same type of things.
With over 16,000 students circulating around Western Washington University's campus every day, word of mouth can serve as more than enough to influence and persuade these students to check out a new club. Because the idea of some clubs are so intriguing, the mere suggestion that one should join a club, or at least check it out, from a friend or acquaintance can act as the necessary push for many students to join the numerous clubs and activities that Western has to offer. People with similar interests tend to come together and talk about those interests. Word of mouth comes in handy with this process, because if you are interested in weight lifting, croquet, photography, art, literature, film, politics, recreational activities, or even Harry Potter: there is a club for that! Word of mouth comes in many different forms, including from friends, acquaintances, teachers, Facebook, fliers, or even people walking by you in Red Square. So keep your ears open and you will undoubtedly hear about a club that might interest you and make your experience at Western that much better.
The Tango Clubs only recruitment is through word of mouth. This technique works well for them because they aren't looking to spend a whole bunch of time making fliers or trying to recruit. This is partly in order for the group leaders to maintain a close contact with its members. Word of mouth is often much more convincing way of recruitment because it is more personal and often done by friends of members. The Tango Club also uses their Facebook page as a way to spread their news and club updates to current members and potential members. Other clubs such as the Women and the Woods club uses the same techniques as the Tango Club to recruit members through word of mouth.
With Making Western diverse being brand new to the Associated Students line up for clubs, in the beginning the word of mouth method was all that the few members of MWD had to use. Then as the club started to progress on to being more official, the use of social networks like Face Book took over as the main ways of getting the club noticed by the student body here at Western. Unlike the A’Capella club who used their main way of publicizing their club with the word of mouth, MWD uses the word of mouth as a secondary tool. With social networking websites, reaching out to many different people at the same time is much easier than solely using the tool of word of mouth. With the use of this Face Book, the club can efficiently connect with more diversified crowd, instead of the word of mouth strategy whereas the people who are spread the word are usually spread the word to their friends only. The only spreading the word to their friend, allow room for the people in the club to be in the same social mind set.
The Sailing Club also uses word of mouth methods, for successful promotion. Many students take sailing classes or other classes at Lakewood, where the Sailing Club mainly participates. So the club gets a lot of exposure through students talking about sailing classes. Many newer members on the team weren’t recruited by elder members, but instead approached the Sailing Club on their own. Often these students have taken one of the sailing courses offered through the school and find that they like the class and would like to sail more. The Sailing Team is easy to contact and promote the sailing club as there is nearly always a member of the club at Lakewood where outdoor and water sport enthusiastic students are likely to visit.
Word of mouth methods are effective in getting people involved with the different groups around campus. This method requires people to actively seek others who might be interested in a group, and this is where many groups, such as the Tango Club, have benefited from social networking tools such as Facebook. The Dead Parrots Society is another example of a club that uses Facebook to gain followers. When using Facebook to promote it is a good idea to insert video demonstrating what the group does or to place links that will provide more information about the group.
Advertisement[edit | edit source]
Advertisement is a great way for the student clubs to catch the eyes of potential new members. Being in the college community a major form of advertisement is done on Facebook. With current members in the groups on Facebook they are able to send out invites to friends who they think would like to join the club. On Facebook the members can post information about the clubs and answer any questions. Although Facebook is an effective form of advertisement there are other ways such as putting up posters around campus and word of mouth.
While direct advertisement is a very effective means of recruitment, displaying effective club activities and exciting events is also very effective. Students will naturally be more interested in a club if said club displays active and interesting events.
A. Swing Kids struggles with advertisement. In my interview with Calieen, her main concern for Swing Kids was the promotion the club is doing in order to gain more members. Many people want to go to Swing Kids, but they don't have any advertisement promoting where and when the even takes place. CCF does a fantastic job at advertising their group through core leaders in all of the dorms, wear shirts that make people want to ask questions, and having different events or classes that people can take throughout the week. Word of mouth then feeds off of effective advertisement. Some keys to a successful club such as the Slum Doctors Program are to host events with the help of effective advertising. Advertising which is highly effective in raising awareness and fostering growth and support of the club. Events which if effectively advertised around campus could potentially raise a great deal of awareness. Posters in highly viewed areas, information tables at key junctures around campus, and the like. Raising awareness about the Program will in tern raise awareness about AIDS and Gender Equality. When more people are aware of the cause and the Slum Doctors Program there will be an increase in donations which is so important to all those stricken by AIDS in Africa. Finding people who are generous enough to donate to the club is also something that is keystone to an effective club. Advertisement is a core factor in the success of a club or organization. It can make or break a club or organization and is often a weakness within clubs and organizations. Most clubs or organizations struggle with finding the best way to reach out to the student body to ensure that everyone has heard about them. For that reason, many are always making efforts to discover and use the most effective form of advertisement.
Because advertisement is key to keeping the club alive with not only membership, but participation in events, it is important that clubs familiarize themselves with the best advertising strategies. Here on the Western campus there are many different ways to advertise a club and it's events. While advertising at the information fair is always a great way to get both freshman and other students to see what your club is all about, the blackboard blog is also a very convenient and easy way to let other students in on clubs. Everyone has a student account and most everyone has the blog portion on their page when they enter their blackboard. Even though it is on a small portion of the screen bold titles are always something that catch students attention. Online is a great way to reach multiple people on the Western campus and both the Student Homeless Outreach Team, as well as the Men Against Violence use this effective method to get people to know about their clubs. Internet is a thing of the future and it is important that all clubs jump on board when trying to advertise their club both for new membership and for events!
A great place for a club like Students for Slum doctor Program to advertise their club would be around the Fairhaven branch of Westerns campus, in south campus. There seems to be a good amount of knowledge in the students and faculty there regarding social issues, so recruitment for the club Students for Slum Doctors, or any other Social club could be very effective around Fairhaven. I have seem many clubs working outside red square for recruitment and fundraising activities, including the men against violence club, but many people are too busy when on campus to stop and look into clubs that interest them. I feel like getting deeper into the schools themselves, like Fairhaven or the anthropology department (especially for social issues clubs), would be a better place to advertise clubs and activities. Another good way to advertise events may be to ask a teacher in one of these classes to let you give a brief introduction to ones club and goals at the beginning or end of a class period, and possibly teachers could give extra credit to those people who choose to help/join. In all, It seems that recruitment must find its way deeper into the classroom in order to become more effective.
The Cycling Club and Swing Dance Club have a efficient way in advertising students to join the club. For instance, the Cycling club set up a tent in the fall to meet up with students face to face to promote bikers that were interested along with placing index cards on bikes that were locked up on bike racks, where the Swing Dance club posted flyers that targeted dancers that didn't have to have any experience as well as informing students there were many people willing to help making people feel more comfortable to join the club.
The WWU Bodybuilding Club has a natural talent for attracting new members. Being located in the Wade King Rec. Center, the club has instant advertisement. Potential members become interested in the club because the current members exude passion when it comes to bodybuilding. They are always working out at the Rec. Center and are excited to motivate people to get in shape. This organization of a central location is a great way for clubs to advertise! This confidence in ability to attract new members isn't shared by all campus organizations. The photography club, for example, has a hard time recruiting students because students believe that in order to join the club that they have to be a skilled photographer which is not the case. With the bodybuilding club, you don't have to be the heavy weight champion of the world to join. The main goal of this club is to assist people in living a healthy lifestyle, so anyone is welcome to become a member.
Because recruitment is such an important issue for the Rugby Club, its members put a lot of effort into advertising. One very effective strategy is how the Rugby Club never fails to put a table out whenever an information fair is put on at Western. Most information fairs take place in the fall at the beginning of the year, when people are most open to new activities. The Rugby Club doesn't just limit recruitment to the beginning of the year. Members are always welcome regardless of the time of year. Rugby Club members are also very enthusiastic in their recruitment methods on a person-to-person basis. Members are encouraged to promote the club whenever they can, such as by talking about it with friends. Once, team members carried around rugby balls all day in an effort to bring attention to the sport. Another successful method of advertising that the Dead Parrots Society mostly uses is the traditional poster/ad strategy for its shows. This is almost solely what the Dead Parrots Society relies on to get people to come to its shows, which is what it relies on to raise money for the club (thus proving its functionality). Combining these two effective strategies (person-to-person and posters) might provide an even more successful method for advertising a club of any kind.
Though putting a table out may certainly be an effective advertising strategy, the Jewish Chabad seems much better at advertising their existence. The methods that the Jewish Chabad already uses to recruit members already works wonderfully. The Jewish Chabad club uses word of mouth, Facebook, posters, tabling at vendors row and at red square, and emails. First, the vice president of Hillel Jewish Student Club, Rachel Rasmus, said that the club “recruits” members through tabling at events and through Facebook. Though Rachel was consistent with my asset theme of how they let people know about the club, she did contradict the information I was given by Rani in the same sentence. Rachel used the word “recruit” when discussing how people got to know about the club. However, she contradicted Rani’s information by saying this. Rani was adamantly against using this term saying there is no recruitment whatsoever. Second, Emily Olsen who is doing her project on the Scottish country dance club did not say who she interviewed. However, she remarked that recruiting usually just happens through word of mouth from friend to friend. Third, Rani discussed that every one is welcome to join the club; he went on to say that many times they have people that come simply out of curiosity to see what Jewish event and or holidays are like. This is great for marketing. Last, Rani discussed that they let every Jew know that the club is there to provide every Jew at Western with any needs he might have. Thus, being very welcoming, and using multiple ways of letting everyone know about existence of the club (i.e., Facebook, emails, etc.) are effectual organizational strategies.
The South Asian Student Association at WWU has a lot of potential for advertising. The officers for next year have already started deciding ways to advertise and spread knowledge to Western's campus about this great club. They've recently elected a great public representative who would do her job by bringing in as many people to the meetings as possible. A big factor that is encouraged in the club is that its members bring their friends to the meetings as well. This way, more people know what is going on in the club and that they can join too even if they aren't south Asian in descent. In edition to spreading the word among members to bring their friends to meetings, the club is going to make some posters to put around campus to spread word.
With newer and cooler games coming out this century, recruitment is an essential part to the ongoing existence of the S.M.A.S.H Club that is based around the 90s game SuperSmash Bros. In recent years the SMASH club has been effective in advertising the via word of mouth, hosting events in dorms, and through social networking such as Facebook. These methods have worked fine for the leaders of the club and they seem to have no problem finding new members. In today's society the majority of kids in college have Facebook and check it almost every day, so advertising and recruiting members through Facebook for the club is very effective and it keeps everyone connected. The SMASH club's recruiting methods are similar to that of the Croquet club, which also uses Facebook to recruit and maintain members. The croquet club holds 100 members on Facebook while the SMASH club has around 40-50. People are free to join the club during any time of the year, and there are barely any requirements to joining, which makes recruiting fairly easy for the SMASH club. The club is pretty much open for anyone, regardless if you are good at SMASH or not. As long as you like video games, you'll probably fit in perfectly.
The Planned Parenthood VOX Club uses effective strategies of advertisement where they display information tables in Red Square every week. They realize that the best, most busy day to do this is Friday afternoons, so they have a bright information table from 11AM to around 4PM. It is important that in their advertisement, they appeal to both women and men (many men feeling like Planned Parenthood is just a female's club), so they hand out condoms for men to take also. This form of advertisement is very important for the interest of both genders and will help their overall goal and recruitment. Another great way to advertise is where the club has some connection to other professional associations in the community. For example, the WWU Planned Parenthood club is funded and supported by Mt. Baker's Planned Parenthood downtown Bellingham and this greatly helps with the advertisement for Western's club. The Disability Awareness club also explains, "They have access to many resources... that they can utilize for successful and effective advertisements. This advertisement comes from fliers, handouts, posters, [etc.]." This is a an obvious form of great advertisement, and is in comparison used by The Planned Parenthood VOX Club as well.
The A'capella club has only been around for this year so the effectiveness of their advertising is very minimal. A problem is that they are limited to word of mouth and also through their Facebook page and since budget is also limited, that means they are left to showing what they've got at performances (i.e. underground coffee house or performances signed up for). The idea of entering themselves in cash prize competitions is also in the air to not only spread the word of their uprising but to also help fund the group in sending them to other competitions or just out and about to have a good time. They want to in the future make shirts for the group to wear around campus. This will lead to the creation of signs and posters to put up around campus and also organized advertisement in Red Square. They say they have a lot to do in the advertisement area but next year will be a big improvement.
Another newly founded outreach program is Making Western Diverse Club, which has had to undergo the struggles of beginning an establishment like the A'capella Club. The effectiveness of advertisement is crucial for a club to grow, change, and accomplish goals. Unlike A'capella Club, Making Western Diverse Club understood that word of mouth, Facebook and fliers were not going to make this club prosper to the degree each officer, and member hoped to achieve. They took initiative and got Jamba Juice to come every Tuesday between 12-2pm to sell smoothies with donations towards our club. Shirts are being created and sold, as well as and end of the year fundraiser with fliers are being passed out. Recognizing that advertisement is a huge benefit to, especially to a newly established program by getting word out and creating a foundation for the years to come.
Not all clubs are advertised the same, some have it easier than others. For example, The Submarine club is based out of the engineering building and the Body Building club is based out of the Recreation Center. Anyone is able to join either club, as a freshman you may not ever enter the engineering building, where the submarine club has some advertisements, but everyone has the ability to go to the Rec Center whenever they please. The Body Building club gets a lot more traffic going through their meeting place, introducing more people to their club. The submarine club does not have this advantage, but what the submarine club does have is the backing of the engineering building. Any person interested in engineering, which are the students in the submarine club, will her about the submarine club. More clubs should get some sort of "sponsorship". As I have said the Submarine club's "sponsorship" is being able to use the engineering building and it's equipment.
The Photography Club was developed to not only showcase people photos, but to help develop and sharpen skills and fundamentals of photography at all levels. This initially puts off most people, because they feel like they need to be "professional" photographers. This is simple not the case according to the Photography club. They advertise that all levels of photographer are welcome and appreciated, whether you are a professional, or just picked up a camera. This sense of opportunity for beginners to learn, and accomplished photographers to hone their skills is one key aspect that draws people to the club. This is the work of effective advertising by the club, to ensure that people are not put off or intimidated. They also effectively use Facebook and Flickr, to share photos and help to educate and recruit new members, as well as advertise. Without this advertising of the true nature of the club, the club feels that a majority of its members would not have joined in the first place.
As a relatively new club, the Student Coalition for Immigration Rights is facing the issue of advertising. Thus far they have gotten a lot of help from the club M.E.C.H.A. in growing into their own entity. From here on out the club needs to start reaching a larger audience base to bring in many more groups. But S.C.I.R. is not the only club that faces this problem. In an interview with a member of The Dead Parrots Society it was said that the club utilizes workshops to bring attention to themselves. The president of S.C.I.R. Maria Corona says that the members of the club are working hard to put on workshops for next year to involve more people. Ultimately S.C.I.R. will utilize posters and set up a booth on campus to draw people in to attend these workshops.
The slum doctor Program has used advertisement as a great tool in their recruiting efforts. one way they advertise is through their website. fliers have also been a big part of recruitment, the fliers are handed out by current club members at the events they host and other events. they had also set up tables on red square with information and advertisement in order to attract people. another group that has used advertisements through fliers and Facebook is the A.C.C. both these groups have been successful in organizing events and using advertisement effectively.
Interest[edit | edit source]
In the beginning of the school year, Western Washington University does an excellent job introducing the clubs at the university with the info fair. At the info fair, all the clubs at Western have their own booth where people they can tell potential members about their club. The initial interest of a club is usually made at this fair. Beyond the initial interest, the following clubs show strengths and weakness in how interest is either kept or ways that people lose interest in their club.
Not always does interest have to be catered to by booths or other forums of advertisement. Many times if a student is interested in a particular subject or is from a certain race or creed, that student will want to seek out others who share similarities with them. Word of mouth is also another way that clubs can gain popularity, as popular or fun clubs are more likely to be talked about.
The Dead Parrot Society gains interest by inviting people to watch the shows that they put on. Advertising the upcoming shows is a great attention getter for students interested in improves. This is a great way to allow people who are interested to see what the final product of their hard work is. After this gains the attention of new possible members, they are very open about inviting everyone to their open meetings every Tuesday to evaluate the talent of the new members. By using their own shows as advertising to students they save the time and effort they would spend by going out and asking people to join.
One of the Photography Clubs' main goals is to find people who are interested in photography. A way to observe interest in the community is to find a reliable place to hold meetings. This would secure members continuing to come to the meetings and share this common interest. Another way to find interested people is to have more people leading the club. There can be one president but more officers is needed for the clubs' survival. More people promoting the club means more interested people are likely to show up. Unlike the sailing club and the weight lifting club there is no facility for the club members to meet every time.
When students are trying to start a new club or gain new members to their existing club it is very important to think about who would be interested. When you are thinking about starting a new club it is important to make sure that there would be enough people interested in the topic of the club. Furthermore, if a club has too specific of a topic it may be hard to find members. Once the leadership of a club has thought of who might be interested in their club it will be much easier for the club to advertise. This is because they can start advertising in venues where students who may be interested spend their time. It can be very helpful when advertising and starting a club to think about those who would be interested and try to cater to them.
The Sailing club is an organization lucky enough to have a arena for there club meetings as well as a location to sail that is given from nature. Lakewood is a student run facility where team members practice, hold meetings, store equipment, and run their club. This is beneficial because Lakewood is open to the public where students can rent sailboats, and in turn enjoy sailing so much that they look to pursue it further by joining the club. Other clubs such as the weightlifting club are blessed to have facilities (student rec. center) that help in the broadening of group interests to other students on campus. Western Washington's student clubs can use facilities such as Lakewood to expand their membership base and continue to recruit members for years to come.
The Hui O' Hawaii cultural organization has found that advertising in off-campus recreational sites are good for membership interest. One function they put on is to teach Hula dancing at the local YMCA. This allows for awareness to be spread across the community and not just within a group of people that share an interest. Advertising off campus can be very helpful by way of recruiting a significantly larger number of participants then could be found on the Western campus alone. This increase in interest would make fund-raising a thoroughly successful operation and would encourage community wide knowledge and acceptance of the club in question.--Sharpc2 (talk) 20:17, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
The Hui O' Hawaii club has an open-door method when it comes to recruiting new members. Members are generally recruited by word of mouth from past or current club members but they are not opposed to anyone who shows up with an interest in the club. This method allows the group members to become very close knit with each other as there are not that many of them and those who are there express a great interest in the Hawaiian culture; a few members still live in Hawaii but are here during the school year and they offer great insight.
A strategy that has worked quite well for the Harry Potter club is always having open door meetings. Any time during the year, people can walk into Harry Potter club and join at any time. In addition they do not take attendance or require that you be there every time (although they would prefer that you were), allowing a very non-hostile environment. Also, they have the door to their meetings open at all times, so that people passing by might hear that they are having a good time, and will pop in for a few seconds to see what is going on. Their primary active recruiting goes to those whom would be interested in the books, such as having large stuffed animals from the book series, however the club is extremely warm to anyone who enters their doors, which reinforces the idea to return to the club.
The A’capella club recruits members that have a singing ability that adds to the vocal range of the group. The strategy most effective for seeking out these individuals thus far is word of mouth. If someone has the vocal ability and wants to join the club all they need to do then is to set up an audition with the group leader. Since most talented singers are proud of their talent it is easy for them to seek out this club. You have to be exclusively interested in competitively singing with a group to become a member, that’s the bottom line and the basis for this club. The Campus Christian Fellowship (CCF) works in a similar manor by seeking out followers of the Christian faith via word of mouth, and they have upwards of three hundred members. Although singing is a rarer quality than being Christian the interest based recruitment is a functional method based on interest.
For some clubs Interest is the only thing that keeps it alive. Clubs such as Sexploration might harbor a few non-committed members for the free pizza but it is a club that depends on peoples interest in sexual education that keeps it alive. Another example is people will join Frisbee club because they like Frisbee, not because they want to travel and get free food. The Submarine club however is an exception. The group does not depend on any one faucet to be successful. They have a small group of kids that aren't simply just "interested" in submarines. They have a multi-tiered interest in engineering which is the main focus of the club. Problem solving, work groups, budget meetings, and many other structured activities keep the interest of the members without adding extra "bling" such as perks and pizza to draw in unmotivated, part time club goers. This is a more serious club at Western and Their achievement show it.
The most crucial factor in recruiting members for Slum Doctor AS club at Western has been, by far, finding people who already hold some strong interest or passion for their cause of creating awareness and helping promote education in sub-Saharan Africa. Club president Kasey Hostetler discussed with us the modest beginnings of the club, starting with fifty dollars and two committed members with a passion for providing as much aid as possible to those in Africa fighting the AIDS epidemic. She told us that without a solid, passionate foundation and the slow increase of members equally as enthusiastic towards their cause, the club would be nowhere and likely have already died out. A new club, and an extension of the Slum Doctor Program of Bellingham, they have found the most interest in Fairhaven students, many of whom she says are already very passionate and have been excited to partake in their cause. While some groups such as the Rugby club use strategies such as extensive advertising to promote their club, advertising for the Slum Doctor Club has been difficult, with limited funding and not much recognition as such a new club, Kasey said. However, a technique that may be affective for the club in the future, and seems to have been working for the Students against Civilization club is to hold educational events. Many people on Western’s campus seem to be passionate or at least strongly intrigued by the cause Slum Doctor Club has been formed around, and holding events to help promote awareness of their existence while simultaneously educating people about their cause would likely increase membership and interest.
Having truly passionate members is a key component to having a successful organization. When people are interested in something they are more likely to participate, and remain committed to the organization. For example, most of the members of the WWU Body Building Club are very dedicated to body building and it has become a lifestyle for them. These members are the people who are out participating at every event, advertising for the club, and potentially recruiting new members. When there is interest in a particular subject, recruitment will not be a problem. In clubs such as the WWU Body Building Club and also the Cycling Club at Western, word of mouth is the main form of advertisement and recruitment. This strategy is effective because it is an intimate, face-to-face situation that allows a person to really understand the club. Creating interest and having members who are excited and willing to participate is an extremely important asset to any organization.
Such as the WWU Body Building Club and other fitness based clubs are related to the Rugby Club and the interest that students show through the bond with the other teammates as well as showing dedication and commitment to the sport, Rugby. Megan Nakamura said, "The Rugby Club's main asset is the building foundation of the sport". During the meeting with Connor Nelson, a freshman on the Rugby Club, he mentioned that team members get together whenever they can. He also mentioned that being a part of the Rugby Club, his social life with friends changed as well; he spent majority of his time with the other teammates and this was a similar case for other members. Because of their friendly orientation, it helps them to show others that they are always welcoming new members, which sets a positive outlook on recruiting.
The strategy for the Korean club to recruit members and to have constant members joining is word of mouth. The members spread the word about their club by telling all their friends, and acquaintances. This is a good idea for the club so then they are always trying to bring in more people, and it will keep it a smaller group of people, but there wont be much diversity in the club. The club allows Korean and Non Korean members but only spreading the word about the club by word of mouth is solely bringing in certain group members. A couple times a quarter the Korean club will go out and sell cookies by the VU and place up posters around campus. This is very different to other clubs like (the planned parenthood) plans of recruiting new members once a week in red square. One of the big problems associated with the group and their meetings is since there are not many members in the Korean club it is difficult finding a meeting time for everyone to show up. Other than that the Korean club has shown some growth and will be able to continue to recruit members and share their culture.
"Recruitment for KUGS is relatively easy", Melissa Derry, Specialty Music Coordinator. They consistently host events such as their "birthday", celebrated every five years. In my interview with Melissa she talks about how they DJ at events such as their "birthday" and when Jurassic 5 came and performed at WWU. People see what them DJ-ing and see how much fun they are having. From there all it takes is them asking how to get involved, and thus a student and volunteer base is formed fairly simply. Very similar to the way the Dead Parrots Society invites people attend their shows; KUGS promotes their own events. This is easily the least labor-intensive way to recruit new members in any club or organization. By advertising and giving publicity to the amount of 'fun' the organization has, KUGS furthers their fan base and recruitment simultaneously. As suggested by the paragraph regarding Dead Parrots Society, recruiting people in this way is a good way to attain members who already have a strong curiosity or interest in the group.
Among the many students on Western's Washington University, there has been a lack of diversity. This is what brings many students to Making Western Diverse. This club is strictly focused on reaching out to different people from all walks of life to focus on making Western a more comfortable feel. One effective strategy that was used to recruit members was effective planning. The club officers worked really hard on planning events and then bringing their ideas to their club members. This allowed the club members to have a say and also let them know that they were still working towards their goals. Every member of the club was asked to bring someone new to every club meeting. This helped increased members because they were always educated by other members about the club's main purpose. Making Western Diverse also has a Facebook group online that allowed anyone to join. The members were able to invite other Facebook friends to join the group.
With the many clubs offered at Western sometimes it's hard to get word out about a club but the Ritmo Salsa club has come up with an effective way of spreading information. Instead of relying heavily upon posters and flyers the Salsa club took a different approach by showing the Western community what they are actually about. Through out the year the Salsa Club hosts dancing events which gives students an opportunity to see what they actually could be doing and learning, through this display Salsa Club members can spark interest in possible new members. Because many people may never hear about these events more posters may help, for example, the Swing Kids swing dancing club puts fliers in common areas, cafés, and the dining halls making their club information available to anyone who may be interested. Though the Salsa Club does set up a booth during information fairs their club is less visible than the Swing Club.
Event Recruiting[edit | edit source]
Many times student run clubs or organizations need new membership to fill slots absent from graduates and other lost members, this results in a strategy that involves recruiting. There are many strategies for recruiting members, event recruiting is a method used by different clubs that works in creating a larger membership base. Whether these events are hosted on or off campus depends on the club and its intentions. One of the Student Homeless Outreach Team’s (S.H.O.T.) greatest strengths is their recruitment for their quarterly event “Be Our Guest.” Each quarter the club rounds up enough students to donate their meals to feed a hungry person in the community. Each quarter the club has seen an increased number of participants because of word of mouth and new recruiting strategies. This quarter instead of “tabling” in Red Square S.H.O.T. took a new approach and recruited in front of the Viking Commons, eliminating the need for the question, “Do you have a meal plan?” Other important recruiting devices include posters, banners and flyers around the school campus. Other clubs such as The Korean Club, Women in the Woods, and Dead Parrot society that utilize posters and other related recruiting devices find that they increases participation in their on campus events.
LEAD’s effective recruiting methods include offering extra credit for various classes on campus. The club works with the professors of ESTU 202 and ESCI 101 and sends them the sign-in sheets from work parties. Extra credit gives students an incentive to sign up for LEAD activities, and LEAD has an easier time filling up work parties. LEAD co-directors are responsible for going to these classes and getting the word out about work parties. LEAD also has a website where students can sign up for work parties with the click of a mouse. Students fill out an online form with their name, student number, class (if they want extra credit), and email. The website has the work party schedule for the entire quarter and lists which work parties have spaces available. LEAD uses email to communicate and confirm with volunteers, and sends out reminders and directions via email as well. The Tango Club also uses a website for recruiting new members and advertising events. Tango Club also uses posters and word-of-mouth to spread information on club activities.
This strategy of advertising in classes by word of mouth is effective. Also, the choice to advertise in relative classes such as ESTU 202 and ESCI 101 also help bolster and increase attendance at LEAD's work parties. This strategy has been very effective as the work parties fill up quite quickly and are often difficult to get into after the first couple weeks of a quarter at WWU. The fact that they advertise to relevant classes sets them apart, as their goals have been achieved more than Tango Club's, since the work parties normally fill fast; this may also be because of the incentive, i.e. extra credit in an environmental class the student is currently enrolled in (as long as it is offered for that class).
Unlike the Harry Potter Club, which has a problem with membership, LEAD has developed a very good and stable way to recruit people for their events. They have spoken to and kept ties with professors in environmental studies/sciences classes (ESCI101, ESTU202) and built a system where extra credit is offered if a student participates in a LEAD work party. LEAD comes to the classes and presents how to sign up and what they're about and find themselves overflowing with participants. This is not the only way to participate in LEAD because they also accept drop-in volunteers who are not there for extra credit.
Western's LEAD club speaks to ESCI 101 and ESTU 202 classes shortly after they start to let students know of opportunities where they can both earn extra credit for their class, as well as helping out the community. These "work parties" are first-come, first-serve and can be competitive, since professors encourage participation. I am enrolled in ESTU 202, and a member of LEAD gave us a brief presentation of what the club was about, why their work is important, as well as showed us how to sign up for the weekend work parties. This is done online and students can see which time slots are taken and which are still open. The extra incentive for extra credit appeals to many, so recruiting doesn't seem to be a problem. The only other group I came across that uses online recruitment is the Tango Club. However, they also use posters which I have seen on occasion across campus, but I rarely see posters for LEAD. Spaces need to be available for those enrolled in the ESTU and ESCI classes first, since they have an opportunity for extra credit.
An excellent way to gain new members is to hold a large exciting event that is capable of drawing a crowd. The idea would be to of course get as many people as possible to hear about your club. For example the Student Homeless Outreach Team gets noticed by everyone who enters one of the commons when they are advertising for their "be our guest" event. This is similar to the WWU Body Building club holding the Westerns Strongest Man competition. The strongman competition was a big event that drew out a big crowd and most definitely increased the popularity of the club. While at an event with such a big crowd, simply have a sign up sheet on a table somewhere and you will be guaranteed to get new members. This can also be a good idea for other clubs who do not have as much popularity or success recruiting.
There are many exciting events held at WWU with the intention of recruitment for different clubs. Unlike many clubs such as the strong man club, many events are held off campus. The cycling club holds events for recruitment during races. This is a great way to show students what the club is all about as well as what they could be a part of if they joined. Events like this are also a great fund raising strategy.
A common type of event that some clubs use for recruitment are performances, most commonly used by dance clubs. When a dance club does a performance, it has the added bonus of spreading awareness about the club. The WWU Ritmo Latino Salsa Club, for example, does many performances and actively spreads awareness about the club along with the performance. Sometimes they even offer a small lesson in the dance after the performance, to get people interested. The advantage to this is not only is it inexpensive, but it previews what the club actually does to prospective members.
Many people are unsure of what they are interested in and most groups prove to be intimidating because they are focused on one topic. There are many world injustices, and many do not feel educated enough to fully participate in a certain club. The World Injustice Awareness club is a good starting point for people to talk to others about all the world injustices. It is like a beginner club because they are interested in all world injustices, and are not focused in on only one. After people are involved in this club they can join more focused clubs to really get involved in issues they find themselves passionate about. This club appears to be less intimidating to students because it is more broad and through this club they can find what they are passionate about. They don't have to feel as if they need to already know about an injustice and be already passionate about it to join this club.
Many clubs use a Facebook page to show when events will be. For the croquet club, event recruitment lies mainly in the club’s use of Facebook. The president, Devin Spencer, has done an absolutely marvellous job putting the club together and getting the word out using Facebook. When a match or meeting is going to be held, an event invitation can easily be sent out to every single member in the club. Devin has done a great job putting together the Facebook page so that the members can get the information that they need. Out of about 100 members, at least 20 will show up to events for the croquet club because they were easily alerted. Many members initially join the croquet Facebook group before going to any meetings and then go to a meeting or match when they get the event invitation. This is a good technique because learning about the club online is much less intimidating than going straight to the event in person. The Dead Parrots Society is another club that uses a Facebook page to get the word out about upcoming shows. Many clubs put a link to their Facebook page from the Western’s club page. Members can easily be alerted of the next club event. Technology has made getting vital information to all members a very easy task. Facebook seems to be an extremely helpful tool for many clubs around Western.
How to become a member[edit | edit source]
Who to contact[edit | edit source]
Often, new students come to college and decide to join a club, however, many are confused on the process of joining clubs. Often the best way to join a club is via a club fair. This is when the clubs spend some of their budget on advertising their clubs and provide a wealth of information. The president of the club is often there and will be happy to answer questions about joining. Also, all clubs are listed on the school's website most of the time, and attached to the club is contact information to the club leader. A simple email or a phone call is highly effective and somewhat more personal than a busy club fair, and the club president will often gladly explain functions, dates, and other useful information about the club.
Becoming involved in a Campus Christian Fellowship Core group has both similar and different methods as of recruitment compared to other groups. There are three ways to become involved in a core. The first way is the more traditional way that people become involved is by finding the location and time of the weekly Core meeting in their building (or the closest building to them) on the CCF website. The second way to become involved is a method that is shared by many clubs, such as the Dead Parrots Society and the Ritmo Salsa club, is to sign up for more information at the yearly Info Fair. The third way is the more unique way. As CCF Cores are a subsection of a larger organization, one can become involved in a Core by attending the CCF Friday night service, and filling out an information card. At that point, a leader within the community will contact you, and your information will be passed on to the Core leader closest to you, who will then personally contact you.
KUGS is the school radio station, and positions are paid. Before you can begin paid work at the station, you will read the new on air for a period of time without pay, during which they will train you for a position. KUGS has a great website you can find off the WWU homepage. This website has more information on how to apply and get involved. KUGS is located in the Viking Union, which is a nice central location for people who are interested. A successful strategy for KUGS is that they allow volunteers that do not attend WWU to become involved and help them out. If more clubs did this they might find better support and possibly more experienced people to help the club grow and expand.
The Croquet Club is a very easily accessible club. Start by searching the Western Washington Club Page online and one will be able to find general information about the club and how to contact its most current president. The club has also created a Facebook page, which is continually updated by its members. On this page, you can find past croquet tournaments with pictures and information, current events and tournaments that are about to take place and many members who are readily willing to talk to new recruits. Other groups such as SMASH club and Ritmo Salsa club have used Facebook as well to help recruit new members and list current events. Since the Croquet Club does not host very many meeting, new members or recruits can talk to members on Facebook about attending tournaments and events.
First meeting for a new member[edit | edit source]
The first impression is the most important determining factor in whether a potential new club member will continue with that club they are checking out. What goes on during the meeting when that new member comes has a lot to do with the recruitment numbers. If the new member likes what they experiment they will tell their friends and encourage others to join. In this section there are several examples of what the first meeting is like for new members in clubs across the Western Washington University campus. The following observations discuss the things that clubs are doing good and the challenges that the clubs are encountering.
The Scottish Country Dance Club has been up and running for about 15 years and is comprised of a diverse group of loyal members. After attending a couple of the club’s meetings, it is obvious why this club has been such a success and why its members enjoy it so much. Upon entering the meeting for the first time my group and I were warmly welcomed by not only the leaders, but by every member of the club. They insisted upon our participation and were willing to take time out of the meeting to teach us the basic steps. The enthusiasm of the leaders and members was enthralling and it quickly became clear why people would enjoy participating in a club with such communal feeling. It seems as though many of the other dance based clubs such as Swing Kids, Hui O’ Hawaii, and Tango Club noted the same kind of enthusiasm and welcoming of new members whether experienced or not. It seems as though the goal of the Scottish Country Dance Club, along with other clubs, is not so much to compete and be the best, but rather to provide a comfortable environment for people who want to meet new friends and experience new activities.
The Scottish Country Dance Club at Western Washington University has trouble with recruitment due to the fact that the leaders of the group are very old. Their age gives them a disconnection to students which in turn contributes to the lack of members compared to many other groups on campus. At the same time, there is members of the group now because they were brought in by Tom or Rosemary. The fact that this elderly couple has such intense energy for the group is inspiring to some students. Another factor that leads to problems with recruitment is that the main student member that does the recruiting is a woman. If the one male in the group were to go out and try to get more men to join there would be a better chance of increasing the male members. If there were multiple girls to go out and just target men to join they would have better luck than one girl describing and talking about the group by herself. I think the number of members will increase because this group is so welcoming and more than willing to work with a new group member.
The Scottish Country Dancing Club (SCDC) is a club fueled by the passion of its members. Their love of dance and the Scottish culture is what bonds the group together. Luckily the club has strong leadership. Jenny and Rebecca, the other student leader/teacher are both very committed. They attend all meetings and events and promote the club. However one of the needs the club suffers from is its low membership. 8-20 people attend the club each week. This is not a very large or consistent number. This makes it hard to plan events, rehearse, integrate new members, hold onto new members, and challenge the old members. This also makes it hard to access other needs of the club such as financial needs or needs for costumes and music, when not everyone in the club is present. One major need the club has is the need for recruitment of more male members- as of now there are significantly more females in the group and I have only ever seen 3-4 men even attend the club meetings.
The Dead Parrots Society has open rehearsal meetings on Tuesday nights. These rehearsals consist of games that make you comfortable with acting in front of a group. These games make you think on your toes and are improv' based. The leaders of the group are voted on by present members. Currently, the leader, or Artistic Director, is Kris. He decides who has sufficient ability to perform in the group. If you show a lot of enthusiasm and talent, then Kris will let you know and you can become a member of the group. Once you are a member of the group then you can perform in the shows. But unlike the Scottish Country Club the members don't introduce themselves individually to newcomer.Dead Parrots Society also has a unique way of inducting its members. In the past, call-ups used to consist of just a phone call telling the person that they were officially a “Dead Parrot.” Now, the system of calling someone up consists of a kidnapping and cake.
The Creators of Visual Art and Literature have a unique method of interacting with a new member. Generally, the new member is left alone and not considered part of the group, unless they conform to standards that are familiar to those who are already part of the group. The member may work quietly or try to communicate with the members of the club. However, if they are not already friends or have a relationship of some nature with a member of the group, they are not always accepted. The first meeting is a crucial step for any aspiring member of any club because it is the first impression and is a deciding factor of whether they will come to more meetings. The lack of members for most groups may be a lack of advertisement, but the members of the group must also realize that they must be somewhat welcoming, otherwise the potential members will not join.
As a new comer, the first meeting for the Ritmo Salsa Latino Dance club was a little unnerving. Having never salsa danced before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. As many people can attest, doing something you have never tried before can make you a little self conscious, especially if you have to try for the first time in front of a crowd. this is pretty much the same for any performance club, including, but not limited to, Swing Club. The dance coaches are very pleasant and patient, and willing to work with you 1 on 1 if the need arises. Over all it was a very good experience.
The first time a new comer walks into the Viking Commons Multi Purpose Room to attend a meeting for the Ritmo Salsa club they may feel intimidated by the beautiful and seemingly effortless dancing of its seasoned members. However, that intimidation goes away quickly because the group’s members are very friendly and love to see new people interested in their club. Unlike in the Creators of Visual Arts and Literature club, new members are welcomed with open arms no matter their skill level or if they have connections in the group. The Ritmo Salsa club offers different classes that range from beginning to advanced classes for the new members and members who have been around since the club began. New members are encouraged to take the beginning class as many times as they feel they need to until they are comfortable with the movements in the Salsa dance. Unlike the Dead Parrots Society, there is no one there who is judging how well you dance and no one is there to tell you that you cannot be a part of the club. All of the Ritmo Salsa club members are there to have a good time and they want new members to feel comfortable and find new confidence in their dancing abilities.
Western offers a variety of clubs and each one offers something different to the university. Though the first meeting for a new member may be intimidating and a little scary, there will come a time when that person feels at home. Western’s campus can seem like a big place at first and clubs allow the university to seem a bit smaller. Clubs offer a safe place where students can feel a sense of belonging. It is just a matter of getting over the initial fear of being in a new setting with new people. Once the new member feels comfortable, however, that is when friendships are made and a great time at Western can begin.
Info fair[edit | edit source]
During the first week of school of every year, Western Washington university holds an information fair in the central courtyard “Red Square”. Thusly, the event is called the “Red Square Info Fair.” In September of 2008, the information fair was a venue for some 125 of the school’s 231 clubs to publicize their group. The information fair also allows local businesses and departments of the college to advertise. Clubs and organizations interested in participating in the “Red Square Info Fair” should contact the Info Fair Coordinator. Events like the info fair are an excellent way for clubs and organizations to make their information readily accessible to a large number of people and is a great opportunity to recruit potential members. Since the fair is held at the beginning of the year, it allows members to get engaged early on and maximize their time and involvement in the club.
Materials to have at info fair[edit | edit source]
For the World Injustice Awareness Club, the main way they recruit members is through the Red Square Info Fair that is held before school begins. For the WIAC, this is the main way for the current members to let new students know about the group. In order to set up a booth at the info fair, the group leader must sign up for a booth spot ahead of time. Once they have a spot confirmed, it is very important that the group has many pamphlets available for new students who are interested. The pamphlets should have the name of the group, a short description of what the group is and what they do, as well as contact information of the leader of the group and the date, time, and room where the group meets.
It is important to have a sign or something to catch the eyes of the students walking around at the info fair. There are many different booths, so it is important to have a colorful, big sign, or some sort of game where you give prizes away in order to catch the attention of the prospective students. Having something that will catch the eye of students, as well as pamphlets that is short, and to the point, but has all the important information is the key to recruiting students at the info fair. According to the Harry Potter Club, the Dead Parrot Society club, and Ritmo Salsa club all depend heavily on recruiting students through the info fair. All of these clubs, including the WIAC, take the same approach to recruitment and base it off of the info fair. Because the info fairs are the main source of requirement for these groups, it is important that the pamphlets have the correct info about the group and start an email list. Most groups at the info fair will have a list where people can write their name and email and thus the groups are able to email prospective group members about the events and meetings that are being put on.
The info fair would be a perfect chance for the A'capella Club to get their name out. For word-of-mouth as the only type of advertisement makes it difficult for the club to gain more members. Instead, they could set up a station in Red Square and advertise by preforming. They could have sheet music of popular songs to hand out to people who would like to join the performance of the moment. But also, along with the sheet music, they should hand out the traditional pamphlets that contains information about their club.
The process of recruitment is a very important one for school clubs. Since all clubs are organized by the students and the members are students that all eventually graduate, it is vital that new members are constantly joining. Without recruitment many clubs would die out. The process of getting new members to join can be a tricky one because there are so many different ways to go about it. Usually recruitment happens by word of mouth or interest gained after public events. Recruitment is easy once you find the right technique.
Western Men Against Violence (WMAV) is great club but is lacking in recruitment. This is a club that I have collected information about in regards to recruitment. Initially, the club had had a booth set up to spread the word during the beginning of the school year. This seems to be true among a lot of clubs; there is a beginning engagement but no activities or lack effective activities that follow. The awareness of the club is mainly spread through word of mouth. Also, due to lack or recruiting there are some misconceptions about what the club actually represents. If the club worked more on recruitment the size of their club would definitely increase and they would make even a great direct impact on the community. A group member pointed out how there was a “slightly increased involvement after the vagina memoirs.” That is to say, events and activities may catch someone’s interest. Another club on campus that faces this problem is the World Injustice Awareness Club. They are not a well known club on campus and have few members. They should address their advertising strategies so that they are more likely to recruit people. These two clubs provide insight for recruitment when running a club.
Barriers to Membership[edit | edit source]
In some groups, there are certain constraints for becoming a member. Some clubs have requirements to obtain membership. These can range from certain skills, such as singing in the A’capella group, to equipment, such as lifting weights for the bodybuilding club. Another way some groups have a barrier to membership is through fees. Some clubs simply can’t function without an initial capital investment. These barriers hold some people back, but for the most part it is not a huge problem.
Requirements for membership[edit | edit source]
A.) While most clubs on campus are open to all students, there are some clubs which are specific to students who share certain traits. These traits can be specific to religion, gender, sexual orientation, or cultural heritage. These clubs are meant to provide a safe environment for those students who share innate common bonds and allow them to celebrate what is unique to them. Students who qualify for these exclusive clubs are encouraged to join and strengthen the ties that bring them together.
Identity[edit | edit source]
Although the A’capella members are new to the WWU AS Club scene as of 2008, they have by no means had trouble keeping up with some of the more experienced clubs. Recruitment has, without a doubt, been the A’capella Club’s strongest attribute. Unlike many clubs at Western, the A’capella club is one of the few to have an auditioning process in order to gain membership into the club. Because the group only has on average about ten members total, there is never a huge need for new performers. The small membership of the club gives it an immense advantage over clubs who constantly stress over popularity and size. The only real need for new members comes when a singer in the club has to leave, usually due to graduation. . Because the administrators of the club have a personal knowledge of each member in the club, including when a singer will leave the group, the person in charge of recruiting and auditioning has months in advance to find replacement members. Much like the Western Men Against Violence Club, the A’capella club uses their recruitment strategies to overcome their weaknesses. In Wesley Baker’s transcript of his interview with members of WMAV, club members stated that their “being less aggressive and active in [their] ‘recruitment’ efforts may actually wind up being a huge benefit, we just have to utilize it more often." The less effort administrators have to put into recruitment, the more they can focus their efforts on other aspects of the club, such as booking gigs or improving rehearsals. However, because recruitment is done on an invite-only basis, it is ultimately the potential members, not the administrators who suffer. Acceptance into the club is entirely dependent on a person’s musical ability. One must not only be able to sing and blend well with the group as a whole, but also must be able to read music, learn pieces individually, and have a strong work ethic. This limits a great many people who may have an excellent voice, but that do not know how to read music. Essentially, the members of the group are nearly all comprised of music majors who have had extensive musical training. The probability of having non-music majors admitted into the group is very slim. Overall, the identity of potential members being so detailed and specific does not do any harm to the club, but rather it helps the club. By having a group fully comprised of music majors, the club is able to operate at a much higher musical level. There is no need to go into detail on basic musical elements because all members in the club have been musically trained. Therefore, the high level of success that the A’capella club has been able to achieve in its first year has primarily been due to its strong recruitment strategies.
While many have heard about the Student Homeless Outreach Team many may not know what this club is all about, it is much more than helping the homeless. The Student Homeless Outreach Team is about breaking down barriers for those in the community to identify with the homeless citizens and this is a problem when it comes to helping people understand the Identity of the club.
The Creators of Visual Art and Literature have a broad interpretation of their name which leads students to perceive a club with no real focus and may hinder them from joining. Their identity should be labeled in a more accurate manner so as to entice people with similar interests.
Beyond finding a specific identity in a club, it is important to know the bottom line that club members are given an opportunity to identify with each other in the first place. Although there may be auditions or 'rights of passage' to official positions in the club, everyone can identify with one another in their share of interest for that specific club. These clubs offer a sense of community to nourish their passions and create identification with one another.
Interest[edit | edit source]
In the beginning of the school year, Western Washington University does an excellent job introducing the clubs at the university with the info fair. At the info fair, all the clubs at Western have their own booth where people they can tell potential members about their club. The initial interest of a club is usually made at this fair. Beyond the initial interest, the following clubs show strengths and weakness in how interest is either kept or ways that people lose interest in their club.
One strategy the Hui' O Hawaii club found successful in finding new members (and then keeping those members) was to open membership to anyone who is simply interested. If the club had chosen to include only people who had at least one Hawaiian parent - or even more strict, to have been born in Hawaii - they would have had a much harder time finding members. And some of those members might not have liked such a harsh rule. But by keeping the club open to anyone who was interested in Hawaiian culture, no matter the background, they kept a very friendly and open atmosphere that attracted many more people. The less limitations the club had on membership, the more members it drew in, and the friendlier the atmosphere tended to be.
The effective strategy that the Dead Parrots society use is having open rehearsals creating a relaxed environment for the participant to see whether or not he/she likes the group. It also gives everyone a chance to become a certified member. When you have this type of rehearsal its more relaxed because the participant can continue to attend even if they haven't been asked to join the performing members. Another club that uses a similar strategy is the Hui' O Hawaii club. It is similar because you do not have to be Hawaiian, you just have to be interested in the subject. This is efficient for acquiring new members.
The WWU Bodybuilding group does a good job of including new members or those that are interested. The one problem for students that may be looking to enter the group is that the group does not have meetings on a regular basis. Aside from that the group's focus is bodybuilding and the group members can always be found in the gym. The group is fairly large already, about 60-80 members, and they are always welcoming new members or ready to tell anyone interested what it is about. The one area where they do has less interest is the groups female involvement. Although the group does have some members that are female, including one of the head organizers, it is much lower in numbers compared to males just because of the object of the club and the stereotypes that accompany bodybuilding. This is similar to the Dead Parrots Society in the sense that it is easy for members to get involved quickly.
KUGS is Westerns première radio station and they have a very organized way of getting people interested. KUGS advertises a great deal to incoming students as well as current students. They do this by advertising with fliers and during tours of the Viking Union. Anybody who is interested in music can be part of the KUGS family but it can be a scary thing to try out. To officially join KUGS you have to go through a series of volunteer work helping around the studio then working your way up to be a DJ, if that is what you want. This is different from other clubs such as the Hui' O Hawaii club because other clubs you can just join because your interested. With KUGS you can try it out if your interested but then have to work to be a part of the club. This is an effective strategy because KUGS members get paid for their work and so to weed out those who are not really interested they have a process that people must go through.
Equipment[edit | edit source]
Many clubs on the Western campus require specific types of equipment to function. For sports oriented clubs, much of the necessary gear can be found and used within the rec center. Others may have a more difficult time finding accessible equipment, requiring things either brought from home or purchased for the club. Some clubs require equipment as simple as a kite, a room, a book, or one's own body to participate. Regardless of what is necessary, and regardless of one's ability to obtain the equipment, it seems that AS clubs find ways to stay afloat and functioning, so long as passion in students can be found for what the club is all about.
The WWU Bodybuilding Club is based around weight lifting, which requires a lot of equipment. The equipment needed is things such as dumbbells, bench-presses, and a variety of machines. This equipment is very expensive and would cost the club a fortune. Fortunately the WWU Rec Center has all of the necessary equipment for the clubs needs. However, you need a membership to the Rec Center to be able to use the equipment, but all WWU students receive a membership included in tuition costs. So for the most part, membership to the Rec is not a problem. Other types of equipment such as workout clothes and lifting accessories must be provided by each WWU Bodybuilding Club member.
The Photography club allows anyone interested in taking pictures to join. A false stigma linked to the club may be that new members would need high quality cameras. This high expense may deter possible members. In actuality, the club only requires that you provide a device capable of taking pictures. This includes digital and disposable cameras and even the camera on your phone. So, the requirements fit every budget just like the Students of Optional Clothing.
When joining the LEAD group they have all the supplies provided for the members. There will only be exceptions like if you need sunscreen, or if you need an inhaler, or if someone is allergic to their surroundings. Other than that all the members have what they need to plant or participate.
Skills[edit | edit source]
The A'capella club is intended for members that have a specific skill ( singing, vocal) and without this skill you cannot be a member, a problem in that maybe they could attract a few fans or followers to help them expand their audience. C) Unlike the A'capella club, the WWU Weight Lifting Club accepts anyone; people who have never picked up a weight or people who have been lifting their entire life, as long as you have the desire, you are welcome.
The specific skills that members of A'capella club are required to have are both beneficial and harmful to the strength of the club. Because A'capella club requires potential members to audition they are able to pick only singers who have the necessary skills and who will work with the dynamics of the group. This allows the A'capella club to maintain a quality group of singers who are all capable of performing together and who all get along. Unfortunately because of the specific skills needed to be a member of A'capella club there is a very small pool from which they can pick members from. These required skills make A'capella club unlike just about all other clubs who for the most part allow any and all to join. However, it is very necessary for the A'capella club to be seclusive if they intend to improve the quality of their music and form a larger fan base.
Much like the A’capella group, the Dead Parrots Society also requires somewhat of an audition to get in; but don’t let that scare you off! A seemingly ongoing audition through many open rehearsals will give you the experience needed to improvise in front of a crowd. The quick to learn, hilarious warm up games invite everyone and keep a consistent flow of newcomers. Many of the current Dead Parrots never improved in high school and starting out at WWU was their first experience in it. Although it takes an immense amount of skill to be funny on the spot in front of an audience, just getting involved in the preliminary games and watching the members during rehearsal effectively aids your mind in being able to come up with new material at the drop of a hat.
Unlike the A'capella club, the Photography club is open to anyone who is interested. This tactic is useful in attracting and maintaining membership. Although lack of skill may discourage people from joining, they will often tell the story of how a girl takes pictures from her camera phone. Becoming a member of this club can potentially advance you skills in taking pictures by collaborating and learning from other photographers. You can also learn to understand and accept the beauty of the work that it takes to produce these images.
Although you do not necessarily have to have any specific skills to work at KUGS radio, there are qualities that help. Because you're not actually on the air until the second quarter, you don't have to know how to DJ a show when you sign up, but a general knowledge of musical electronic equipment will help loads. When it gets around to the third quarter when you can design your own music show, is when average volunteers are separated from dedicated DJs. This kind of distinction works well with this club, because those who have huge music libraries and a burning desire to share their tastes can have successful shows, and those who are more interested in the technical or organizational aspects can maintain positions helping out in that way. Unlike many other clubs, KUGS is more like a workplace, with different responsibilities assigned to different people, and many levels or organization.
A great strategy for getting people to attend a club is opening it up to all skill levels and backgrounds of the clubs topic. Allowing people of many skill and age levels into a club helps the club attract an extremely diverse range of people and will increase the attendance of the club overall. If the club is free to join, with absolutely no standards and no prerequisites, then many more people will be enticed to join the club. If the club is opened up to anyone, it allows for the leaders to have a slightly less stressful job in which less structured organization is needed. In the photography club, they allow virtually anyone (with a camera) to join. On the other side of this equation, in the A’capella club, they have very strict guidelines for membership; you must audition therefore you must be a good enough singer to make the cut. This allows for about only ten people to be members. With this low membership, it allows for a very structured operation of the club, also leading to effective organization.
Although many clubs do not require any skill levels to a club, it is also important to be aware of certain risk factors, safety aspects, and levels of physical activity. In any sort of sports or dance club on campus, for example Ritmo Latino Salsa Club, attendees and members, if taking the dancing seriously, are advised to play safe. Dancing requires flexibility, coordination, and a high level of energy. Latin dancing is very passionate and a lot of fun, but spinning can cause dizziness, constant movement can cause dehydration, and stretching is absolutely vital. Obviously, the amount of preparation and safety precautions that must be taken depend on the level of intensity of the dance, but physical activity of any kind must be approached in a mature and intelligent manner.
Another attribute that is important to have when attending Ritmo Latino Salsa Club is the ability to leave all inhibitions at the door. The club is extremely welcoming to new dancers and trained dancers alike, and remaining self-conscious will only hinder a member's ability to learn to move and dance fluidly and skillfully. With a lot of energy, preparation to have fun, passion for life, and willingness to try new things, anyone can learn to Latin dance.
The WWU cycling club is welcome to anyone out there who can ride a bike and wants to race. Your skill level does not need to be at expert or even intermediate as beginners are also welcome. Although if you are good at the sport the cycling team's sponsors are willing to support the top 5 riders at certain races. There is a certain condition you probably should be in or get ready for as biking does exert a lot of energy. Since there is no skill level requirement, this club is great for improving a persons stamina and getting people into shape. Now as this club doesn't require a skill level, I know that there are choir groups on campus that you need to audition for, which requires a certain level of singing.
For the Women in the Woods club there are two very different pieces to the equation. The first piece is the skilled group of women and the second, the equally as important but less skilled women. The whole goal of the club is to provide a safe place for women to learn and grow in relationships with each other but also to grow personally. Just like lots of other clubs on campus such as Salsa Club, the experienced members are put in leadership positions to instruct and help the inexperienced members. For Women in the Woods, trips are planned in varying difficulty from simple day hikes to technical rock climbing. Technical skills aren’t needed for the majority of the activities but if you have the interest for technical and more intense activities they also have those options.
GPA[edit | edit source]
I don’t think GPA is necessary for clubs that need people to volunteer. There are some people that have a low GPA, but they are really dedicated volunteers. Also, if a club needs a volunteer immediately, then they should not be checking GPAs because then they can’t get as many help as they need. In addition, GPA does not really say anything about how hard people work. In the real world, people don’t get jobs because they have high GPAs but rather of their skills.
However, this may be true, the other side to this argument is that a high GPA shows a sense of dedication and the skill to thrive which is useful for most clubs. It shows the club that the person is willing to work hard at everything they commit to.
Fees for membership[edit | edit source]
Many clubs choose to charge a membership fee for participants in order to fund activities and events for the club. The money is often applied towards supplies and materials necessary to have for the club to run smoothly. In the case of college clubs, a membership fee is usually paid directly to the club or through the University cashier. A club may require fees upon the time of joining the club either as a one-time membership fee or a scheduled set of dues, such as a yearly membership fee. Some people might think that fees should not be a part of student clubs, but sometimes these are necessary for the club to flourish and do fun activities. These small fees add up and could potentially help the club get more members as well as advertise for members to join.
Reasonable fees for membership[edit | edit source]
Two common strategies for club fees are: donations, and club members giving an equal share to cover the cost of events. The former, donations, can offer a more relaxed approach to the members while possessing the possibility of creating more financial stress for the leaders. It offers members to give as much as they want, which can sometimes leave the leaders being very short on the club’s costs. It does, however, present a fairly relaxed atmosphere. The other strategy shares the load with all members equally. For example, if a club puts on an event and the club has 20 members, each member covers 5% of the cost. Then, if the event makes any profits, the profits are shared equally among all 20 members. If a club member is not particularly interested in this event, however, it can cause stress and fracturing of the club due to a feeling of being ‘burdened’.
If some can not afford a fee for membership[edit | edit source]
If a member is unable to pay a membership fee they could instead do a service for the club. This could range from posting fliers to setting up for an event. At some point most clubs will need volunteers. Waving a membership fee is a good way to encourage members to lend a hand.
Member Retention[edit | edit source]
In many instances the retention of members is tied to the leadership and communication skills of the organizations leadership or to the activities and events that the club regularly hosts, these are discussed in detail in future chapters. Here it is important to highlight the key factors in member retention as well as several specific issues related to retaining student participation across the academic calendar.
Ways to keep members[edit | edit source]
Club membership is a top priority in order to maintain a club. During the school year, things happen and clubs can lose members along the way. There are ways to increase the chances of keeping members for longer periods of time in school clubs. Communication is key in keeping all members updated with information and helping them stay informed and interested. All groups should provide support and a sense of friendship. There are many different techniques that different clubs use to maintain their members. This section will give some examples of those techniques and how effective they are. Maintaining membership is what keeps clubs running. Without members, a club cannot exist. Also, it is important for clubs to stay in contact with their members throughout school breaks. Even over summer it is important that membership stays strong so that the next year, the club won't have to start recruiting members from scratch. Making sure each member feels involved is key keeping them.
While studying the Creators of Visual Art and Literature Society, a very strong asset was discovered, and one that all groups should have; a sense of security and friendship. During a fellow classmate's interview with a group member who was a new freshman this year, she stated that the group acted as a support group for her first year, something that she greatly appreciated. The weekly, even unstructured, meetings of a group of people can make all the difference in how you are able to survive during those first months on your own. Whether they are there to offer support, or just provide a sense of stability, having a small number of friendly face around really can help. This is an asset that, through fellow classmates' interviews, was only found within the Christian Campus Fellowship, but is one that should be underlying in all. Once you have this sense of support within a group, the member that you have are more likely than not to stick around for their remaining time in school.
As stated in the previous paragraph, friendship creates a sense of security and belonging in ones self. Friendship is one of the main reasons that the Smash Masters And Students Headquarters (S.M.A.S.H.) club is still around today. Even though the club is not as big as it used to be, the member's love for the game "Super Smash Brothers" has kept the club together as they still meet weekly to play the game even at one of the member's houses. One of the members said that they keep attending the meetings because of the friends and relationships they have developed with the other members. Without mutual respect and appreciation, any club has the potential to fail. Keeping the members coming back is what counts.
The Hui O' Hawaii club is an excellent illustration of the concept brought up in the previous paragraph: its simplest yet most potent asset is the incredibly strong group rapport between members. The meeting I sat in on was extremely relaxed and felt more akin to a giant group hang-out session among really close friends than a serious club meeting, except for the fact that they still managed to get a lot done, which shows that they have found a way to balance work and play and enjoy the best of both worlds. Brian Norvaisis, another member of my group, summed it up best when he wrote "This group's strength... is the warm and affectionate atmosphere they give off". They may have difficulty in recruiting new members, but once people are in I get the distinct impression that they are in for life (or at least for the duration of their life here at Western), as a result of the palpable bond between members. This friendliness and rapport is vital to other clubs, as well. Grace Kim wrote of the Rugby Club that "Their social life works to seek out new members by always being welcoming" and Cameron Harris, a member of CCF, said that he was won over when "These really friendly people just turned up and started talking to me and wanted to get to know me." Carly Hamilton was even moved to join the club her group is studying, which just goes to show that kindness and warmth go a long way!
As previously stated, the Hui O' Hawaii club of WWU has a very warm and inviting atmosphere that keeps members in the club. A good number of the members have some connection to Hawaii, whether it be family, grew up in Hawaii, or simply have some interest in Hawaii and it's culture. The people that originally came from Hawaii have a sense of home within the club. These people can talk and reminisce of Hawaii, and all the things they love about it. When coming to a university that maybe be vastly different than your "home" can make it stress full. The fact that Hui O' Hawaii brings "home" to WWU, it helps bring people closer together and keeps them together within the club.
Akin to other cultural groups, FASA is effective at getting people to have fun and get interested in Filipino culture. Establishing the importance of meeting as scheduled among new members is a simple way to prevent problems in fluctuating attendance, low attendance, and diminishing interest among members. When people within the club accept this as a passive imperative, there is no ambiguity over what is expected of members to people joining. Another key aspect is environment -- setting the "tone" of the club -- and for that purpose, making an attempt to connect personally with interested people. FASA does this by having more integral consciously practice this, setting it as the norm and allowing it to become standard practice.
At Western Washington University, KUGS radio station, a student based organization that is highly run by volunteers, has had continued success in gaining new volunteers, as well as keeping those previously involved. A major way KUGS has been able to keep members is by having a highly organized program with a consistent schedule and specific jobs within the station as a whole. With such organization employed, members get detailed information about events going on in their particular department. Everyone involved has a job to do that is specifically outlined. Many people have titles that help categorize their duties at KUGS, whether it is “DJ,” “Promotion Director,” “Music Director,” “Morning Show Host,” or something else. By having these different sections that are more focused on distinct and specific interests within radio, volunteers have many options of ways in which they can help KUGS while fulfilling their own desires and interests. This really provides members with choice, variety, and flexibility, making KUGS a very appealing organization to volunteers and staff. Plus, the radio operates all year long in a permanent location on campus, so you can always just drop by the seventh floor of Viking Union and check it out for yourself. Other clubs, such as Students of Optional Clothing, don’t have a secure or consistent meeting spot (as noted by Kyle Olsen), making it hard to find and hard to stay involved with for those living busy lives.
One of the greatest strengths of the Dead Parrots Society that I noticed when observing the group practice session is that everyone is involved and respectful of the natural structure of the group. There would be one or two facilitators getting the ball rolling on each of the activities, but everyone really tried their best to make sure there was order in the group. Each activity ran very smoothly because each member of the group was invested in making sure it did go nicely. It was encouraging to see everyone working together so well. Another strength of the group is that they're obviously having fun, but they're still primarily focused on improvement and learning. Nothing that the group did felt like a "waste of time". Every improv game they played was intentionally structured to teach and improve the actors and audience members. This indicates a lot of intentional thought on behalf of the directors of the group. To really retain members and preserve their interest in the events, it is important to allow them the freedom to "own" the group in this way. This can be compared to serious groups, such as the World Injustice Awareness group. In both groups, members have opportunities to participate, but the difference lies in the responsibility of the individual. The DPS asks each member to bring something different and unique to the group which makes their improv activities interesting. The WIA asks each member to work towards the same goal.
Western Washington University's rugby club team is also effective at keeping members. While in the beginning of the year the number of players who start out dwindles, the players that do stay tend to remain committed for all four years. I found that the thing that keeps the team together and so strong is the strong relationships that they have with each other and the fact that they're so passionate about the sport. The team members form a close bond that extends both on and off the field and players were quoted saying that some of their closest and best friends were on the team. Members of both the men and women's teams even made a coed softball team. This effective way of keeping members is similar to the qualities of the Hui o Hawaii Club. The Hawaii club gives off a "warm and affectionate" atmosphere with extremely dedicated members. It's apparent that a club's 'friendly factor' contributes to its success.
While learning and studying about the CCF club on campus I found that once people were members of the club they continued participating in CCF. The main reason for this is the sense of community that has been developed in CCF. During my interview with Kelli, a member of CFF, she stated that one of her favorite things about the club is the sense of community that she feels walking around campus and during CCF activities. Kelli said that while walking to classes she often sees many fellow members and loves the sense of community she feels all the time from being a member of CCF. She also said that through this sense of community she has created many good friends. After studying CCF it seems to me that the sense of community comes from a combination of different things. First, when someone new comes to a club meeting it is made sure that they feel very welcome. According to another CCF member that Victor Pendt interviewed, you are even given candy at the first meeting you attend. Furthermore, at typical meetings the CCF members engage in many group activities that strengthen this sense of community and friendship that is formed through the club. Finally there are so many different ways to get involved in CCF that you end up getting to know lots of different people, thus creating the CCF community. This sense of community and friendship is not only evident in CCF but also in the Croquet Club. Devin Spencer the leader of the Croquet club states that “he has met some of his now permanent friends through the club”. Through these two clubs it is obvious that friendship and a sense of community is a great way to insure your members will continue coming. The sense of community that CCF has didn’t just “happen”, however. Too often a club wants to have community, but doesn’t invest the time or resources to make it happen. In CCF and in other groups that are ‘tight knit’ such as the A Cappella Club, the sense of community is something that active members continually strive for by having regular meetings, small groups (Cores for CCF), and a laid back atmosphere. The leaders of CCF recognize the want and in some ways the need for the members of CCF to be a strong community, and thus sometimes there are special events that occur, for example the Fall and Winter Camps. These events can cost an amount of money that may be difficult for a typical college student to attain. Thus, if someone wants to go to such an event and the only thing stopping them is finances, they need only to talk to a core leader or one of the CCF leaders because of the scholarships that are available, in part made possible by the offering that is sent around every Friday night. The leaders will work with you to see how much you are able to contribute to the cost and will strive to create a reasonable percentage for you to pay based on your circumstances. This furthers the sense of community both through the event itself and through the reciprocation of funds from those who give to those who need.
The current vice president of SRE (Students for Renewable Energy) said that the club has found that focusing on "projects that pertain to each individual’s interest keeps people interested in staying with the club." The club divides up their members into several different committees. SRE has noticed that by doing this, more members took on leadership roles, and thus, more investment in the club. This system allows people to work on whatever they are most interested in. Next year's president of the club said, "Being able to have involvement in different projects, members can choose what they are most interested in." Similarly, the Photography Club allows their members quite a bit of freedom to work on whatever project they would like. By taking pictures, people in the club are able to show their personality, interests and emotions and with the variety of projects, the members of SRE also are able to feel a connection and express themselves through their work
After attending various meetings of the Harry Potter club, I went into researching the strong bond the club has between members. The atmosphere in their room wasn’t only like that of a club, but also a family. I believe that this sort of relaxed feeling is a result of great leadership. With the Harry Potter series being finished for about two years, it’s been hard for the club to keep members interested in the idea of Harry Potter. Chris Godwin (future President) told me that keeping members interested in the club was one of their greatest challenges. However, they have solved their dilemma by talking about theories, future awareness, holding events, parties, theories about the movies and a lot more. After researching other clubs, the SMASH club seemed to be having problems with their leadership. The group is poorly organized and seems as if its being torn into two different clubs, which I believe, is hindering them a lot. The replay value of Smash Bros is a lot higher than rereading a book where the story doesn’t change. Also, the Harry Potter club isn’t split into subcategories like for example the movie and the book but rather integrates it all into two hours of shared devotion. If it weren’t for the time and devotion that the leaders of the Harry Potter club put into it, I don’t feel it would be as successful as it is now.
VOX: Voices for Planned Parenthood provides great incentive to keep members coming to meetings. They provide free pizza for all attendees and give out free condoms at the meetings. VOX also provides a place to socialize with others who have the same interests in social outreach and sexual health. The leader starts each meeting by going around in a circle and asking a funny question. For example, for the meeting I attended the question was: “if you could be named after a state, what state would it be?” This social element is important in lots of clubs. In CCF core groups, meetings start with all members talking about their “pows” and “wows” for the week, which means the good and bad events the members have experienced that week. The American Civil Liberties Union club similarly starts meetings with “balloons” and “baggage.” There are lots of activities at meetings. The Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood branch regularly sends representatives and educators to VOX to talk about sexual health, which keeps the meetings fresh and entertaining.
Because VOX: Voices of Planned Parenthood keeps meetings light and entertaining, members form a strong sense of community and friendship which ensures both high attendance and more effective dialogue. One member who I interviewed stated that the main reason she regularly attends is because she loved spending time with the other members in such a fun environment. The organization is very egalitarian; all members contribute as much as they choose during meetings, creating a feeling of ownership of the club's accomplishments, which in turn often results in dedication and higher meeting or event attendance. Members are all highly passionate about sexual and reproductive health, and this common passion further bonds the members together and facilitates their sense of community. This is very similar to the Ritmo Salsa Dancing club, where members come for their passion for dance, but continue coming for the welcoming, fun environment.
The Filipino American Student Association is one of the many strong diverse clubs of the Ethnic Student Center and much of what they believe in is sharing a part of their culture to others and connecting through what we learn from each other. What FASA aims for is to celebrate an avid interest in the Filipino Culture that attracts people of many ethnicities. At FASA we are able to come as we are ready to learn about a culture they either already know of or wish to know of. How FASA does this is making sure meetings are fun so that everyone participates. Participation is heavily stressed at FASA meetings as it is a way to get to know people. By having ice-breakers people lose their inhibitions in partake in a game. It's very casual and entertaining which ultimately reels people in for what's next in the meeting. As they feel more comfortable around the members in FASA we are able to move into the culture sharing which initiates discussion among members. Regardless of if they are new or not members have been seen to be more active after introductions and the ice-breakers. Hui O' Hawaii has also maintained the same kind of technique by holding meetings almost as "hangouts" while still being able to "balance work and play and enjoy the best of both worlds". It is casual enough so that novices do not feel intimidated to come to a meeting for the first, and it encourages them to return. Officers also take careful notice of who each person is that attends the meetings. That way they are greeted by name and feel instant belonging.
The A'Capella club needs to find a way to retain members. What tends to happen within the club, is once people graduate from Western, their spots don't get filled and the group gets smaller each year until its just ceases to exist. The group, like the Hui O' Hawaii club, has a strong bond of friendship, but it cant really be applied to keeping the A'Capella club together. The A'Capella Club isn't an actual as club, but more of a group of guys that just really like to sing, and so its hard to keep the group going if the majority of the group has left. If the group became a more "legit" group that was somehow affiliated with the music department or something like that, it might have a better chance of retaining members.
Like previously stated, The A'Capella club has problems invoking motivation into its members. Perhaps this is because of a sense of "illegitimacy," in terms of foundation in the AS. However, I consider the group as almost too much of a joke and hobby to be considered an actual "club". And despite what was previously mentioned, the group's bond of friendship--which brings strength to the Hui O' Hawaii club--is possibly more detrimental to the group's health than it is beneficial. From interviewing Doug, I sensed a lack of seriousness. Though the group performs, and some of the members are very into singing on stage, the A'Capella club is more for fun than it is for any other reward. Therefore, motivation dwindles. Without deadlines or obligations as a group, there rises a lack of determination. However, it goes without saying, the group is still enjoyed by its members, for it still provides a good time for all involved.
Through studying the Salsa club on campus it is apparent that member retention is key to a successful club. The Salsa club prides itself for keeping many members and almost always having new members at their meetings. The club has an effective strategy of keeping all new members at the same level. All beginner classes are the same which makes it possible to repeat them until a new member is satisfied with their performance. This level playing field keeps new members interested and makes them comfortable in their new environment. As members work their way up new dance moves and ideas will be incorporated into the classes always keeping members interested. Comparing this club to many other clubs one can see that comfort is key to retaining members. The salsa club keeps its members comfortable by keeping them on a level playing field.
While some clubs find creative ways to not only recruit new members, but also keep current members in contact with each other, such as the Strongman club -utilizing Facebook- other clubs suffer from lack of members.
An example of a club suffering from the lack of new members is the Cycling Club and Swing Dance club. Both clubs have a strong leadership position with people who are willing to put in their time to help members, along with strengthening their communication that kept their groups somewhat organized. However, a top priority was to acknowledge members who were interested in joining the Cycling and Swing Dance club and to recognize reasons why people were hesitant to join. This way, the Cycling and Swing Dance club can target these areas such as informing students that no experience is needed along with not being afraid to approach the club unknown. The two clubs could benefit from studying other clubs that have successful recruitment and communication, and brainstorm what they could do to make their clubs more effective.
Communicating With Members During University Breaks[edit | edit source]
Communication is one of the major aspects of keeping a club in sync by making the members feel more apart of a group, which is important in the structure of developing a successful club especially during university breaks. There are many ways to keep in touch with members within a group like organizing a meeting and texting each other through cell phones, but it seems the most efficient is through the internet whether it is through a message board on a club website, or Facebook.
The WWU Cycling group has a very young and technologically savvy leadership. On and off the race season they have taken to using the internet and message boards to keep in contact with the all of their active members. Through the message boards (www.wwucycling.com) club members contact one another to arrange logistical solutions such as attaining transportation to and from competitive races (Patrick Maloney 2009). The boards are also used off season to set up fun weekend, or training rides which are open to anyone in the community who wants to attend. The leadership has found that using these message boards and group emails has made getting information out to the members more successful than trying to set up physical meetings because with their large active membership it is virtually impossible to set a time where all can attend. Other groups such as the A’Acapella Club have started to utilize these technologies to garner more membership participation, as well as getting the word out about their clubs (Megan Jones 2009). The expanded use of message boards for membership contacts can only assist the WWU cycling club and other AS clubs with retaining their members and gathering new ones with such more and more demands on the time of their members.
Maintaining New Member Interest From Spring Quarter Through Fall[edit | edit source]
Clubs face challenges when the summer vacation arises. Many people leave and nothing happens with the club. It is important for the club leaders to think of ideas to win back their members when the fall quarter starts up and get them excited for the new year to come. Another important factor is to maintain communication. This can often be done through technology like texting or Facebook. This can help the members still feel part of the club and a valuable asset to the organization. Hopefully, good ideas could allow them to have consistent membership throughout the year.
Western Men Against Violence, like previously stated, does not use "in your face" advertising. They strive to create an environment where members want to be there and want to come back. WMAV looks to establish new ideas of masculinity and provide an outlet for men who just need to get things off their chest. The club creates passion in individuals throughout the year and therefore, has no need to win members back. This approach creates a desire to come back to the club in the fall. Summer additional communication may be important, but in a club as intimate as WMAV, many members communicate outside of the club anyway. However, if need be, it is easy to learn the new meeting time (and such) and the event fair.
Other clubs, like The Homeless Outreach Program or the A'capella Group, likely have similar situations. Those are both smaller clubs that provide some kind of fulfilment in the lives of members. That alone is enough for people to go back to clubs during fall quarter. This may be a more impractical expectation for groups with larger membership and groups that provide fun, but not necessarily personal gratification.
Overcoming Other Retention Challenges[edit | edit source]
Through my research of The Dead Parrots Society, the issue of retaining constant members seems to be a slight problem. Art related clubs of this nature tend to have such a relaxed feel about them, that members come and go inconsistently. Their regularly scheduled weekly meetings often have a great turnout. However, it seems that attendees are either new or just "hanging out" attending their club for once. There is a lack of rehearsal attendees that have graduated from the college. The club does not discriminate against attendees not associated with WWU currently. Those members of the Parrots Society have graduated and moved on to other things. Many groups containing adult members have this issue. I would not suggest they change their open organization and membership approach at this time. However, they may succeed in recruiting more graduated players if they showcased a few of them in their shows and/or got a few faculty members involved. Compared to the Scottish Country Dance Club, the Parrots Society is not facilitated by faculty members who teach dance at WWU. That is one less recruitment strategy that could be useful to the Parrots Society.
In Associated Students Productions, there are a few different leadership/recruitment problems. They have a hard time trying to find people to step up and take charge of certain events and have them stick with it. Most of the events are huge events, so all the Western’s students can have the chance to get involved and go participate in the events. So, this means that the people building and creating this event have to spend hours and hours trying to figure out what most of the study body would want to see at Western or do at Western. They also want to make sure that the people who are taking the leadership roles do a good job preparing the events and activities so that students are informed and want to go to the events. This is a big deal for Associated Students Productions because they want to reach out to all the students at Western and make them have a great time at college. In the discussion board of 7 World injustice society, in Lesley Gordon post she said that she interviewed Maria Zupan, which she asked about the leadership roles in her club. She asked if she thinks that the role of being a club leader has changed her in any way. And Maria said that she feels like she knows how to put things together and get things going. So this to mean helps me understand that ASP is not the only club out there that is struggling all of the time with trying to get things going and trying to people involved. It seems like this club also struggles with getting people involved and getting recognized around campus. Last there was A'capella club interview done by Reggie Peltier, and he interviewed Douglas Williams. In this interview Douglas mentions that there wasn’t a lot of leadership in with this A'capella group. So this shows that ASP is not like this group what so ever. It seems like ASP is very leadership based and this club is not. But with ASP, they have made many different strategies that help them out with recruitment. Some include work based study, some include just organizing different events in red square that may get more people involved to make them feel like they can get involved. And last, some include salary based work for people who wanted to work for Associated Students Productions.
References[edit | edit source]
- AS Review.AS Review.http://www.asreview.as.wwu.edu/?p=238
This section is to list the solutions to the problems of hosting events including planning, finding a event place, and accounting for the number of people at the event.
Hosting Events[edit | edit source]
Most, but not all, clubs hold events supplementary to routine meetings. Often used for recruiting purposes, events can include anything from group hikes, community service, and bike rides to movie-viewings, game nights, and barbecues. Such affairs act as informal introductions to potential members, and as builders of community relationships. The event planning process can take myriad forms due to the variety of club-sponsored events; however, it is often an arduous syncing of ideas, people, times, locations, and event promotions. Following are sample steps for the coordination of, and the themes and motivations spurring club-sponsored events.
Planning[edit | edit source]
Before an event can be put on there is the planning process. Before actions can be taken, a club must look at its budget. If a club doesn't have enough money to cover the fees the event would generate they may look for another club to help them pay for the event. This club would probably want to benefit from the event as well, its best if there is some synergy between the two or more clubs. If one club is going to be the main host, they could incorporate some additional activity that will benefit the other club helping with the funds. This is a great way to show that Western is more of a family community. (ex. the Ritmo Salsa Latino Dance club would like to put on an event but they don't have enough money to pay for the dance hall. They could get in contact with another performance club and split the cost. Ritmo Salsa club would contact the Tango club, and the Swing club. Each club would put up some cash toward the event)
Once a club has the funding to support an event, either from Associated Students or the clubs’ own fundraising, there is much more planning to go. The next step would be to choose a location. Whether you are hosting the event on campus or off campus you will need to seek permission from some supervisor. It can take a couple weeks so that’s why it’s important to secure a location before doing anything else. It is also good to know the site’s resources for the event, people capacity etc. The next step in planning an event is advertising. There are tons of different ways to do this and it is good to incorporate different outputs, such as posters and word of mouth in red square. The info fair held at the beginning of the year is one of the most effective ways of advertising for events (as long as they are planned out by that time and combines word of mouth, and posters in a way. A combination will be more effective than one or the other. Facebook has become increasingly popular as a method for publicity to the community as well. Try to get people to RSVP to the event so that you have an idea of how many people to expect and also it makes those who sent a RSVP or signed up to volunteer, accountable. Some events are more observatory and some are more participatory. It is good to plan back-up activities in case the event isn’t going as planned; something you can pull out in case of social disaster. Next we will look at planning an event in more depth and how clubs at Western Washington University have incorporated these methods.
Co-hosting Events[edit | edit source]
Through the interviews with the Students for Slum Doctor Program I found that the initial attendance and organization of the event is the hardest. Once it takes off the ground however, it becomes much more inspiring. Clubs who face low membership, funds and difficulties in rounding up attendees to events can co-host an event with another club supporting similar interests. This allows for more organizational help and the club allowances can be combined. It most importantly spreads the word in a very efficient manner. Allowing for more members allows for more possibility of the passing of information. It would be possible to hook up with a larger community reaching club here on campus like KUGS at Western Washington University who could get fund raising event messages for clubs like Students for Slum Doctors on air for students to hear.
A) An efficient way of having a club host an event would be to have one person take on the responsibility of being in charge of the event. Although it could be stressful for that one person, it is the best route due to the fact that a miscommunication, forgotten necessity, or other mishap of having multiple people working on one thing, will be avoided. Although she is not the president, Stephanie is the founder of the WWU Weight Lifting Club. Stephanie also hosts and puts together fund raisers and takes care of the funding for events such as the WWU Strongman competition. Like the Cycling club, leadership in these clubs is crucial in making it run smoothly and host events well and in an organized fashion. This is mostly due to the fact that their officers are so active in their club by cycling in groups and participating in racing events.
Co-hosting events is a great way to bring new people into clubs. Similar to the way a collaboration with KUGS can benefit the Slum Doctors Club, a collaboration between the clubs that are based on performance can boost interest in the performance based clubs. Co-hosting an event such as a performance festival can provide the opportunity for all the performance based clubs such as the Dead Parrots Society, the Tango Club, and the A'cappella Club, to name a few, to showcase their talents in an event that would grab a larger audience because of the collaboration between the groups and because of the nature of the event as a larger event that involves many aspects of performance from the various groups involved. In these ways, co-hosting events can benefit organizations that might be lacking recruitment opportunities.
Place of event[edit | edit source]
There are many places on Western Washington University's campus that are good to host events. However, many clubs try to narrow it down to the most populated areas to attract attention. This is good for events such as fundraisers or for recruiting. The best place by far to recruit members is on red square, where students cross paths with many information booths. As far as fund raising, a popular place to host fundraisers would be on vendor's row if clubs are selling edible goods. The best places to host events on campus are probably the most convenient places for students such as red square, vendor's row and the Viking union. As far as hosting big events, Viking union offers many rooms that can be reserved for events.
A)The place where a club hosts an event can help and hurt the event. By holding the event in a public area where people who pass by can view the activities and become interested is a big part of deciding where to hold an event. The croquet club has done a very good job at placing their tournaments in plain sight where people can become interested and join in if they would like. For the most part the croquet club holds their tournaments in the front lawn of Old Main. By having their event places there they get many people who stop and ask questions and gain knowledge about the club and its cause, in turn gaining new members.
The AS productions group relies a lot on the availability of the places they host the events. The events that AS Productions put on can normally draw a lot of people depending upon the artist, movie, or other production taking place. Organization and being able to place the event in a place in which it can be easily attended. Not only does the place of the event matter but also the place in which the AS productions puts their advertisements, they want to put them in a place in which the most possible people will be able to see them. Many of AS Productions events require tickets that must be purchased before hand, unlike many other events such as the WWU Bodybuilding which can be placed right in the middle of red square and everybody, even passerby's, may attend.
The Students Against Civilization held their meetings in a classroom in Fairhaven, and as a result there was no place to sit except the ground, which i'm sure discouraged many students from returning to the next meeting. The only activity available was to sit and discuss all the ways in which civilization sucks, with no ideas on what to do about it. That, I fear, was the greatest failure of the group. They lacked structure and organization, or even a well-formed idea of how to proceed. While the group received encouragement from those present at meetings, they never worked to make it what it could have been; an intelligent discussion of just what the next 50 years are going to be like here in America and innovative ideas of how to prepare yourself and your community.
The importance of an appropriate place for events can influence the attendance a great deal. If the hosting club of the event is only seasonal, many people may not be exposed to the club throughout the year. The cycling club has difficulty hosting event year round. Seasonal events will effect recruitment as well as financial help. Clubs like the strong man club have more access to indoor and outdoor events.
The idea of event placement is to draw the biggest crowd possible by attracting as many passers-by possible. It helps if the event is in a wide open area that many people walk by regularly. It also helps if the event is in an area where sound travels easily so that the event is easily notice. Also if the place is easily accessible by bus or on campus makes it easier for students to attend. Much how the croquet club would hold events in front of Old Main, the WWU Bodybuilding Club held their WWU Strongest Man Competition out on Western's Track. The track was an excellent location because it allowed them to draw in everyone making their way too and from the Rec or parking lot. The event was able to be seen and heard from a long ways away which led to a large crowd and a successful event.
Sexploration is a club on Western Washington University campus that depends on privacy and confidentiality. In order to achieve this, the leaders must use a location with no interference during meetings and events. In order to hold the meetings in a safe environment, that is needed for the discussion of such taboo topics such as 'better sex' and 'casual sex'. These locations are usually a classroom or a meeting room in the Viking Union. These rooms are reserved and the doors are closed during a meeting in order to insure privacy and creating a comfortable environment to discuss sex. For Sexploration the place of the event is key to the success of their organization.
The Croquet Club has been able to host many events directly on the Western Washington Campus. This is an easy way to promote the club to by-standers. Such themed events like Alice and Wonderland and St. Valentines Love have been some of the major tournaments this year. Unfortunately, clubs like the KSA have been unable to host any events for the last two semesters because of lack of support. But by end of they were able to organize two different events. One event was inviting a speaker who could explain about Korean culture. It was hosted in the regular meeting room at Miller Hall. Another event was Barbecue party at the Barbecue place in Birnamwood Apartment. Both of them were open to everyone who was interested to share the time and learn about Korean culture. Places for both events were not bad choices for club members to share their enjoyment. However, it was neither well advertised to other members nor get other people’s attention about the held events.
The Campus Christian Fellowship (CCF) meets in a very convenient place for most students. The place of their events are typically in Bellingham, and if traveling is needed, then transportation is provided. The weekly services that are led by CCF are in Arntzen Hall 100. This is on the south end of the WWU campus. What this means is that most students can walk to the event and not have to worry about finding a ride to and from the service like one does on a Sunday morning. Related to the place of the event, I think another important topic is the time of the event. You do not want an event that conflicts with a lot of people. So what CCF has done, is they have established a time (7pm-9pm) on Friday nights where students plan their Friday night events around the service. With a time from 7-9 and a close location for most, CCF is able to keep the attendance at this event very high. That alone has helped to club succeed. CCF does not have the struggle of, if 15 people do not show up, then the event is not worth continuing for that session. Other smaller groups like the A'Capella group for example, really have to count on all participants coming to each meeting. The meeting place for groups like those is even more significant because it has to accommodate everybody, not just majority of the people.
The key to many successful events really is location, location, location. There may be some other factors that come into play, but deciding when and where to hold an event is vital. Depending on the type of group event, locations will vary, but their importance will stay the same.
Advertising Events[edit | edit source]
Effective advertising is crucial for promoting club events. A variety of advertising methods are utilized, from print ads in the school newspaper to hand-made pamphlets and fliers. Social networking websites such as Facebook and Myspace allow club members to spread the word about upcoming events quickly and efficiently. Advertisements get the word out to fellow students and inspire potential club members.
The Sexplorations club communicates through Facebook mostly and uses posters throughout campus to advertise their meetings. This has been a good method for them to get a turnout at their meetings. The leader sends out an invitation through Facebook to all her friends asking them to attend club events. posters are another effective way to advertise a safe place for young ladies and men to talk about their sexual life.the club also uses attractive names for events such as Multi-Gender Sexploration: Secret Share
Advertising for KUGS reaches thousands of people. KUGS is involved in many on campus events, which draws the attention of many students. Also KUGS can be played on Comcast channel 980, as well as a webcast, so they reach listeners around the world. KUGS has special events such as Music for the masses, which is a great way for them to advertise. The fan base that KUGS has established is another great way for them to advertise, because the more people who play their station the more people who will listen, and this leads to more people knowing about them and becoming dedicated listeners. The KUGS homepage is also a good way to advertise because it is found on the WWU website, which students use daily.
The Strong Men club knows how important advertising is to the success of their events. Some of their most effective means of advertising come from resources that are available to all students on campus. They are able to print out free flyers for their events in the Viking Union. They can then post these fliers in busy areas on campus to attract more people to their events. One example of a group that failed to advertise well is the Cycling Team. They had to cancel the triathlon that they were hosting because of inadequate advertising. Without enough advertising a club's event simply won't be successful. It is very important to use the resources that are available to all of us on campus.
The Harry Potter club posts events on Facebook but also creates flyers and posters for larger events (such as the Yule Ball). These posters are usually in very public places like the VU or bulletin boards in various buildings and dorms. However, the flyers are often placed in more creative ways. Members of the club are given a handful of flyers and allowed to post them all over public sights but they also hide them or leave them in interesting spots. They could be left on a desk in the library or classroom and even on shelves in the library creating curiosity to anyone who sees the flyers. They also advertise events, at the Red Square information fair. This is where a large number of people see the events that are going to be going on in the club. The Red Square info. fair is one of the biggest ways that the Harry Potter Club advertises for events that are going on, or being hosted by the club.
Associated Student Productions relies on advertising for everything. They put up several posters throughout campus as well as also posting Facebook events. In doing this many students hear about the events and the word gets around. However, this is not the only way ASP gets the students attention. They also have people who dress up for the occasion of the event and stand in Red Square, which is where most of the heavy school traffic is, and promote the event by handing out flyers. Another thing that is great that the organization does is sent out text messages to those who would like information on upcoming events. All of these tactics help ASP in getting students to be notified and attend their events.
Western’s own radio station, KUGS is known for its diverse music and its constant goal to meet its listener’s preferences. This organization is all about music, so it is easy for them to put on events without taking drastic measures to publicize the event. Their approach is simple; blast music from any place on campus, recruit student who know what their demographic likes, and wait for students to follow the noise. As more and more students are lured by the music, the station finds an easy way to promote their radio station and at the same time talks to students in order to find out what kind of music they like and what will please the Western student body. Other clubs such as the Pacific Islander Club, hold large gatherings. The Pacific Islander Club just had a big event but students had to pay a rather large fee to attend. KUGS’ events are different in that playing music is rather inexpensive so outreaching to the student body is easy and free!
Type of event[edit | edit source]
Clubs at Western are diverse both in their specific interests as well as their activity choices. You are bound to find something to spark your interest from the numerous clubs on campus whether it be dancing, outdoor adventuring or just meeting to sit and talk with others. The types of events are important to support diversity here and to offer something for everyone. It really is up to the students; the events and activities put on in clubs are for the most part our choices. So, keep your eyes out for signs, flyers, word of mouth and just about any other form of communication and find that something that catches your eye! Maybe take a read through this section as well for an idea of all that campus clubs have to offer in ways of events.
A strength STAND has is having different types of events. They host between 4 and 6 events a year and they make it a weeklong event. They show movies, they have discussions and bring in guest speakers; they do as much as they can to get the word out about their statement and what they want Western to know. As well the club LEAD, it does a great job on types of events. They interviewed Marie and she said they have about 3 work parties a weekend, in different places, to clean up around Bellingham and it’s not just for WWU students its open to the public as well. Most of LEAD’s work parties are full so they get a lot of cleaning up of the environment done every time.
The Women in the Woods group hold many different events. They usually plan outdoor excursions like hiking, skiing, snowshoeing and many other things. The purpose is to get outside and to meet new people. They also hold events like showing movies which they feel can be beneficial to understanding the outdoors. Big or small these events are opportunities breath in the fresh air and gain a better appreciation for mother nature.
A. The WWU cycling team tries to host Sporting events on campus. Other clubs such as the Bodybuilding Club do the same however the Cycling team races all over campus. This is their most common event however they occasionally must hold fundraising events to finance their activities. The club can race all over Bellingham and at various meets and invitationals. These meets can have many teams competing at a large gathering of other cycling teams.
The Planned Parenthood club hosts several of creative events around campus and the community. Some examples include "Free Condom Friday" which is when they pass out condoms at a table on campus and also "Thirsty Thursday" where they pass out condoms outside the bars when people are drunk or are drinking and could be ready to have sex. They also participate in several events around the community where they pass out free condoms and information about testing for STIs. Basically, they are getting the word around in the most effective and creative ways.
It is possible to run into problems promoting positivity with subjects that are sad and deal with others suffering. The Slum Doctors Program Club here on campus counteracts this problem with events that incorporate a relaxed and informative environment in which movie watchers can be educated and understand gravity of human rights issues around the globe while simultaneously offering a constructive environment in which to offer each persons in attendance help.
Sports clubs have the advantage of being able to host tournaments. The SMASH club hosts several Super Smash Bros. tournaments each year in an attempt to recruit new members. Also, Smash is popular enough that other organizations host events that involve Smash tournaments. For example, Ridgeway has hosted several parties this year that included video game tournaments. The leaders of the SMASH club take on the responsibility of attending these related events to recruit more members. Any sports club can use tournament events to add excitement to their club and recruit new members. The Croquet club has also hosted tournaments, but most of the student population was not even aware of the tournament. In order to have successful tournaments and recruit a lot of new members, a sports club needs to heavily promote its event all around campus.
Sexploration is focused mainly on hosting one type of event; meetings. Although they occasionally host larger group gatherings. Meetings consist of statement of the club creed/mantra where leaders (two of them) explain the point on the club and the idea that within the club there is a safe space that guarantees no one discusses what was said in the meeting outside of the meeting. The meetings are fairly informal aside from the initial tradition of stating the creed, they then restate the topic for the week and let people discuss. Generally the leaders of the club have a "hands off" approach and like to let people attending the meeting, aside from themselves contribute. However, they will contribute comments if there is a lull in conversation. In addition, they emphasize contributions from everyone at the meeting, and not too much from one particular person. It can be compared to STAND in that Sexploration hosts discussions for their meetings, however while Sexploration has one particular kind of event and that alone, STAND hosts a variety of events such as movie viewings. In addition, the two can be compared in that they both have specific kinds of statements of purpose that are explicitly stated.
The Yes! Club strives to promote a positive environment by promoting a stress-free and violence-free environment. They encourage this by offering events like free yoga and meditation to the Western Washington University community. Another pillar of the Yes! Club is spreading happiness and acceptance. The club also organizes this type of display on campus. This can be seen through Yes! Club students walking through Red Square with "free hugs" signs, where they hug and high-five students walking through campus. This type of direct interaction is similar to the Planned Parenthood Club, which also spreads awareness and information about their club throughout Red Square. Western's Yes! Club is part of the Yes! Clubs that are at many universities all throughout the nation, so while the events may differ from school to school, the principles on which the club was founded on are very similar.
The Student for Optional Clothing Club, attending events are mainly what the club does, since there are not really meetings per se for this club. Therefore, they show their pride by attending events, such as the naked bike ride in Seattle, WA. Meetings and events for this group are challenging because of the difficulty in finding locations where being naked is okay, however in most places, it is looked down upon. When events, such as the naked bike ride, arise, the group takes no chances in passing them up since opportunities are narrow. This club researches for events, as well as several meetings with a non-university related nudist group, once in a while. These events and meetings give the group time to feel free and show their spirit.
A. While not as...strange....as the Students for Optional Clothing Club; The Dead Parrots Society, despite seeming like just an improv comedy group, has many different types of shows. The inherent flexibility in improv makes it quite easy to make many different types of shows, based on what type of comedy the group wants to do at each performance. Game shows, story-telling, etc. - The Dead Parrots Society has almost limitless ways that they can organize a show, making it a very good choice as a comedy-style group for students to join or participate in, whether as audience members or as members of the comedy troupe.
Throughout the year, the Harry Potter club has many events but only one large one (the Yule Ball). Anyone is welcome at the events which usually happen around other holidays or important dates regarding Harry Potter movies and books. Events include: • Sir Nicolas’s Death Day Party • Slughorn’s Christmas Party • The Yule Ball • Lockhart’s Valentine’s Day Party • Movie Nights • Quidditch
Just like the Harry Potter club, the rugby club hosts a few special events throughout the year in order to make the club popular within the western community. They host these events in order to find new recruits and build a fan base. By attending the annual club days in red square, the rugby team is able to attract and to encourage new people to explore a different and obscure sport. This method has worked well historically but current members of the group have expressed concern about its continued effectiveness. The rugby team also hosts an event with the alumni of the team to fund raise and keep in touch with the team's roots. This event is called alumni weekend. It consists of an alumni golfing tournament where the current players caddy for the alumni, and an alumni game. The alumni game is one in which the current players on the team play a 'friendly match' against the 'Old Boys,' or the alumni. This game attracts a lot of support from the friends, family and players that have at some time been involved with the organization. Since the referee in this game is an alumni himself, it usually turns out well for the old boys. In addition to these alumni games, the club sometimes organize tournaments to play against other teams in the region(usually happen during summer).
A. The Western Strong Man Club has used an unorthodox method of fundraising. They sold "Jell-O Shots" at a party off campus. They realize the legality of the issue and said that they did feel guilty about it. It did, however, make them a fairly large amount of money and the method has funded them quite well throughout this year. They found a niche for fundraising that no one else has and it has been very effective because of this. Being well connected with students and knowing what is in demand has helped them become successful.
The WWU Body Building and Strong Man club hosted the first strong man competition on Saturday, May 30, 2009. The event was held on the University Campus Track and Field. Awards were handed out to the strongest men in both the light-weight and the heavy-weight categories. The event was free to attend and it generated a large and intrigued crowd! Everyone had a great time and the club will most likely hold another competition in the near future.
Average number of people at events[edit | edit source]
In an interview with Brittany Smith from the ASP Popular Music office one of the strengths was keeping the attendance at their events high despite the struggling economy. By providing subsidized costs to students and making sure they program a diverse range of events ASP is able to draw on the passion of our students for different events. Along with Pop Music selling out most of its shows this year, ASP Special events also sold out Western’s Main Stage with Sue Johansen, and Civil controversies maxed out their capacity with their event on Politics and the Economy at the start of the year. This strategy of targeting very passionate needs on campus is also seen in the Tango club. In Laurie Yearout’s interview with one of their members, they also found that students are willing to pay for events if they are very passionate about them. This excellence in keeping numbers high is reflected in ASP Popular Music’s recent award for “Event of the Year” at the annual End of the Year banquet hosted in Western’s VU Multi purpose room.
When I interviewed Linsdey Delaney who is a senior member of the Submarine team at Western Washington, I found that one of the things the club lacked in the most was keeping a consistent number of people attending the club. Based off what Delaney told us it seemed there was a very few number of people attended the club. She explained that it was difficult to organize meetings because of the fact that there were so few members. I suggest that to improve the average number of people that attend the group meetings they should get the word out that the submarine team even exists at western. I find it to be a very interesting club. Just the fact that being apart of the club gives you access to the engineering department at the school. It would be very interesting to use all the tools there and have the knowledge to understand how the tools work and be able to use them. The club its self just needs a way to increase the number of members in the club so the average number of people attending the meetings go up.
When I first attended a meeting with some of the other members in our group to the sexploration club, I noticed that there were not many girls already attending the meeting. This may be due to the fact that it was the first sexploration meeting of the quarter, or simply because of the fact that the level of advertisement for that particular meeting was lacking compared to others. However, there were a few members there (about 4) who were interested in joining a discussion on sexploration. Sadly, the leader of the group decided not to hold the meeting, as a result of the low number of active participants. These girls that were once excited to contribute were now disappointed and discouraged to come to other meetings that may have just as well not occurred as this one did. However, the leader was unaware of the fact that some of the members did want to contribute regardless of the number of participants present and therefore should not be blamed in any way for this incident. On the other hand, I feel that an effective way to go about organizing and presenting a club is to fulfill the activities that are planned, including meetings. I know that the salsa club still holds meetings, even if there are not enough participants to make up one of their levels (intermediate, beginning, advanced) and they still hold the activity by incorporating one of these into another level if there are not enough participants. Therefore, one effective strategy for club organization is being very strict about fulfilling the activities you plan, as to create loyalty and trust in your members and participants.
The croquet club has a interesting situation in terms of number of members, there can be too many people at a meeting based on how much equipment is there. This is very different than talk based clubs, like sexploration, where there is no equipment necessary. In an interview Devin said the regular amount of people was between 10 and 20. The way they work this out is, Devin, the president of the club, sends text messages and sends out a Facebook invite to current members instead of putting up posters. This method works well for their situation because it gives the leaders of the group a good ballpark number to how many people are coming. The problem with poster invitations is that you can't know the number of people coming to the event. Knowing the number of people coming to your event allows for the organization to provide the correct amount of resources. Resources can consist of equipment of snacks, both of which there can be too much and too little of.
Volunteer Opportunities[edit | edit source]
In many cases events can't be entirely managed by the organization that hosts them. By volunteering to help at these organization events it gives people the opportunity to support organizations that they appreciate and are interested in without committing to a long term engagement. Some organizations regularly ask for volunteers, such as non-profit aid organizations. Others may just need a hand here and there while hosting events. These volunteers are an important link between the organization and the rest of the community. Volunteering can be done on both the group level and the individual level. An example of people volunteering together is a church group that builds houses in Mexico. One does not need to volunteer with other people however. There is plenty that an individual can do to help.
Individual[edit | edit source]
Effectively organizing volunteer opportunities for individuals to partake in is an important skill for clubs to develop in order to be effective student organizations. One club that is very successful at organizing volunteer opportunities for individuals is the environmental group LEAD. They accomplish this through various means of advertising, including their organized and efficient website that individuals can use to view information about the club, view volunteer event opportunities, found out when and where the volunteer events will take place, and register for volunteer events. Les Kaahaaina discusses this organized and efficient website when she stated that "another asset is their ability to efficiently sign up volunteers through their website" and Connor Roberts echoes this fact by stating that "they [LEAD] seem to have a very efficient working system." Although none of the other clubs listed use their website to aid individuals in volunteering, clubs such as Sexploration and Slum Doctor Program could greatly benefit from this skill employed by LEAD because they need more volunteers. To sum, LEAD's use of an efficient and organized website to recruit individuals who want to volunteer is a very important skill that many other clubs could greatly benefit from learning about.
I think that is very important for people to find a way to give back to their community through a volunteer project. You are lending a helping hand to people and organizations. There are benefits that you gain as an individual, opening yourself to learn something new. Volunteering opens doors to new friends, recommendations for future employment and college applications, developing marketable job skills, and even increasing your self-confidence. Despite these personal reasons you will gain, others impacted by your choice will gain more than what you will gain yourself. A couple things I have done is volunteer with the LEAD organization on Earth day. Not knowing anybody, I marched down to Franklin park with a group of people to pull weeds and non-native plants in order to restore the beauty in the park and allow it to be enjoyed by the community residents. This park was once losing its beauty and value but as more people decided to help and lend some of their time; it has now gained pathways for kids to enjoy exploring. Another thing I have done is volunteer computer skills to middle school students at home. I would come in and help them compile their yearbook using Adobe PageMaker and InDesign. Not only did I gain an opportunity to keep using these skills but I also gained an opportunity to build relationships with these younger students and am still able to give them advice and guidance when they need it. Volunteering motivates others to take a step out of the box and realize that helping those less fortunate or in need can impact not only them, but yourself, the community, the future.
Group[edit | edit source]
Students for Disability Awareness[edit | edit source]
Recruitment of "full-time" SDA members may be low- about 11- but the club continues to be successful through the effective use of volunteers. The SDA club hosts events such as "Disability Awareness Week" at Western, which brings in speakers from around the country and hosts events for everyone to participate in. The club has also recently sent a student to Taipei, Taiwan to compete in the Deaflympics by fund-raising about $300 for the student's travel expenses. While none of the events and fund-raising happen if it weren't for the dedicated members of the SDA group, those same events would not be possible if not for volunteers; simply because of the shear size of the activities that the SDA creates and hosts.
Vice President and Co-founder of SDA Brittany Otter said during the "Disability Awareness Week," the club recruited over 60 volunteers to help coordinate the events; this included students from the Ally Building Network and the Western Leadership Advantage class. This successful recruitment of volunteers seems to be the opposite of what most clubs are currently experiencing while trying to get help for events and accomplishing goals; such as the Student Homeless Outreach Program, which only has four members and, according to Meagan Acdal, "spends the entire quarter preparing for [one event]."
Otter said the SDA club has approximately 200 people on its email service, who are notified about upcoming events and what they can do to contribute. As stated on the SDA website www.wwusda.org, volunteers help out the club by creating posters, setting up booths and stages, handing out fliers and greeting people. This combination of dedication and effective use of volunteers has the SDA club geared toward its mission of spreading awareness and to educate the WWU community about the disability culture.
Also contributing to the strong volunteer turnout was the SDA club's involvement with local disability support services such as Access Living Inc. In doing so the SDA club was able to recruit support staff experienced in advocating and supporting those living with disabilities. This relationship also helped to involve others living with disabilities in the events and activities of Disability Awareness Week. Clients receiving support services from Access Living Inc. participated in the art contest, the wheelchair races and were able to attend the comedy act performed by Josh Blue. Some of Access Livings disabled clients volunteered in support of the events as well.
Reason For Events[edit | edit source]
Events are hosted by clubs for a myriad of reasons- whether it be to educate, promote awareness, raise money, or even just for run and enjoyment. Reasons for hosting events usually vary based on the club's purpose. For example, ethnic student clubs may be more likely to put on events that share their culture, where as clubs devoted to a cause such as Men Against Violence or Students Against Civilization Club may host an event to educate or create awareness. Whatever the reason is for hosting, the main point is to unite people for understand different perspectives on different topics.
Recognition[edit | edit source]
It is possible to use an event as a launching point for your club or organization. For example, the club "Against Civilization" at Western Washington University was not well-known when the leaders brought a famous environmental issues author to speak at the campus. This event promoted the club and made the Western community more aware of them. If you publicize an event well, and it is memorable, people will not only recognize that your organization exists, but what the purpose is and what they are capable of. Whether you have a great turnout or not, the people in attendance will already have some kind of interest in order to attend. You can use this as a recruiting tactic, or go the less aggressive route by simply letting the community know that such a club is available.
Educational Events[edit | edit source]
For the Students Against Civilization Club, educational events are the most necessary and important events to host, and it is these events that have led to the relative success of this organization. Although these events are not necessarily highly attended, new members can only be recruited when the motivations for this club's existence can be explained in full - most students might not recognize at once why one would have a problem with the general idea of civilization. Predominantly educational events become a necessity in clubs such as this (others include World injustice awareness, Coalition for immigration rights, STAND, etc.) when substantial background knowledge and context is required to appreciate the aims of said organization. The real trick is to effectively engage your audience while still conveying your crucial points - lecturing at potential members can only take you so far. Multi-media presentations, such as film strips, documentaries, and slideshows, usually serve as a good centerpiece/main attraction for an educational event. Guest speakers whose topics are pertinent to your organization are also a valuable resource, and are usually in abundance in a college environment.
Like the Students Against Civilization Club, the Students of Optional Clothing club occasionally hosts educational events involving documentaries and film strips. They hosted an event where they showed a documentary on the World Naked Bike Ride in London. This video was particularly relevant to new and unfamiliar club members because it helped put public nudity in perspective. The documentary showed how public nudism could be used as a form of protest because of the attention it draws, it also explained how it was easier to be naked in public when others are doing it with you. After the video, the club had a brief discussion about the documentary and how it was relevant to the club. Film presentations combined with discussion can be very helpful in better understanding a group and their practices.
The main goal of the club STAND is to open people's eyes to genocide. STAND hosts four to six major events per year. Events like their movie night about rape attract about 15 to 20 people but their larger events, like those held in the open part of the university outside, attracts hundreds of people who want to learn more about genocide. The club brings in guest speakers and shows movies as well. Their biggest event is called "Week in Genocide" where every day there are tents and stands outside in the university square that not only discusses genocide, but shows pictures and documents from past and current genocides to students who are passing through. Every day of the week during "Week in Genocide," an event is held like watching a movie or documentary about genocide or bringing in a guest speaker. This group is very successful in using these types of events to spread the message about genocide.
Cultural Sharing[edit | edit source]
Being a student on a college campus is a unique experience for many reasons. However, many people would say that they were exposed to a vast number of unique people and cultures that they had not been exposed to prior attending college. Western's long list of AS activities and clubs enhance the culture experience and create rich diversity. Without the clubs and events that take place on campus daily, culture would not be felt, sought after or shared.
As a club dedicated to the sharing, learning, and appreciation of a certain culture, FASA's (Filipino American Student Association) strength is in planning and hosting events. FASA holds many successful events to celebrate their culture by showcasing its members' talents, presenting traditional Filipino dances, offering authentic Filipino food, etc. This year, FASA had two main events- the annual Heritage dinner (held Fall Quarter) and the first Annual Pilipino Culture Night (held Spring Quarter). When holding a cultural sharing event, FASA likes to reach out to the Western community as well as the larger Bellingham community. Jazz Allen Espiritu, FASA's current Budget Authority, mentioned in an interview that “With Heritage Dinner we were able to invite the whole university to a culture sharing event that was fun and entertaining for anyone who went. It was a time to learn and a time to enjoy friends and family which is universal to everyone regardless of ethnicity.” FASA, like any other cultural club, must put effort into reaching out to others for events like these in order to get the club recognized as an organization open to diverse people, and not just people of Filipino backgrounds. The events held by FASA, as well as the club itself, is similar in effective organization to the Hui O' Hawaii club and the events they host, such as the annual Luau. Both clubs are culturally based and even share mutual members.
A) One are where the Jewish Hillel Club succeeds greatly is by creating a place where students who share a common cultural background can come together and strengthen those common ties and create friendships. Sarah Rasmus, the Vice President of the Hillel Club during the 2008-2009 school year, explained that the clubs goal was to "create a safe environment for Jewish students on campus to express themselves as individuals." Some of activities the group does together are hosting dinners on campus, getting together for movie nights, and playing games that strengthen their cultural ties, such as "Jewpardy." They try to get a Jewish member from the Bellingham community to host a dinner for the club as often as possible as well. One aspect Rasmus likes about the club is that it is "a safe environment to meet other Jewish students and practice and explore Judaism on their own terms." The group informs its members of upcoming events through their Facebook page, something that will undoubtedly become more popular among campus clubs. The Harry Potter club also succeeds in creating friendships within their group. Some of the way their group gets together is by hosting concerts with wizard bands, playing quidditch, and by hosting a Yule Ball.
What consistently keeps the alumni weekend happening year after year is not the amount of money that the Western rugby team generates, not much according to many members, but because of the shared cultural experience that the different generations get to share and pass on. Brian Jensen, next year's club president, is very enthusiastic about this cultural sharing: "This year's alumni weekend was fun because the alumni make it that way. After I graduate, I will continue to come back every year because of how much I enjoyed the stories, the people and the game." Parties might not be considered an official club gathering condoned by the Student Body, but members of the team thought that these gatherings were probably one of the most effective ways to create camaraderie and a better team dynamic.
Fun[edit | edit source]
The amount of fun that can be predicted from an event can be influenced by many factors. Amount of preparation, good attendance, activities offered and weather can all be factors that play into the success of a fun event.
Hui O' Hawaii, a Hawaiian cultural club on campus, was most effective in their ability to host events. Like Slum Doctors Program, Hui O' Hawaii had a mix of events and awareness. Essentially, the events that they hosted were intended to allow people to enjoy themselves and tangentially learn at the same time. Their events consisted of Luaus so there were lots of great dancing and delicious food. However, they were more than just a good time. The Luaus also served to spread awareness about Hawaiian culture. Their goal is to give people a feel for the culture and to hopefully enjoy it. This was intended as a way of raising awareness about the cultural practices of Hawaii in a light and respectful manner.
Many of the Hui O' Hawaii club's events are not always made public. However the group themselves are always usually putting on their own private events, such as going to Kathy's Kitchen in Seattle just to eat homemade Hawaiian food. During an interview the club agreed as a whole that their best times are when they are eating Hawaiian foods. Some of their public events are offering Luau dancing lessons at the local YMCA and putting on an annual Luau at WWU. Lessons offered at YMCA give the public, who may not know of the club on campus, an opportunity to learn a little bit more about Hawaiian culture and their ritual dancing steps. The Luau is their greatest event and is effectively advertised for weeks before its actual occurrence. They sell Hawaiian merchandise, serve Hawaiian food and put on dances for the audience. Natives from Hawaii are also there to participate and help the club members.
The Croquet Club, like The SMASH club, hosts fun events with different rules to spice up every event they have. They do this to create a completive environment, so that everyone has a fun time. They play games on different tournaments and the winners are awarded points for whatever place they come in. The person with the most points at the end of the tournament gets a prize. They set up different rules when playing in teams rather than when they play a singles, nonetheless they make their own rules. Sometimes they make the brackets a portal to another bracket across the field, or they play bonus brackets on special occasions. On Halloween they played if you hit the croquet ball through two pumpkins, you would be awarded bonus points. They spice things up to keep the game fresh and to keep it away from the stereotype of being a "grandma's game".
The South Asian Students Association club tries to host one big event, and several smaller fun events. Last year, they hosted a large event to show the different dances, music, and cultures of the south Asian world. This event is open to the whole campus and other people from different schools are encouraged to attend as well. Along with this event, the club tries to host a couple of get-togethers. A member (usually an officer), hosts a party at their house, where members are allowed to attend and bring their friends. There have been bowling and dinner nights in the past too. In the future, the SASA club definitely wants to continue this tradition of having smaller events at someone's house so it can lead to a more comfortable and relaxed environment where people can get to know each other and just have fun doing something other than school.
The Harry Potter Club's events are similar to the South Asian Students Association club in the idea of one main event, and then several smaller ones. First, they host their Yule Ball every year, to which around 300 people attended this year. They also hold events such as Quidditch matches on the Old Main field every weekend or so. Both these events and their booth at the fall quarter info fair I believe is a good way to get there name out there more and more. Perhaps is they have another event like the Yule Ball, or hold one more often, say once a quarter, they could influence growth and the students on campus may have a stronger connection and awareness on campus
The Planned Parenthood VOX Club hosts meetings every Wednesday night in Viking Union. Although these meetings are very informative and helpful, Kelsey (the club's coordinator) also knows that the only way to appeal to everyone and to hold strong membership is to keep the meetings fun also. The way this is organized in the meetings is by keeping a laid back and comfortable attitude during the meeting discussions. For example, in the meeting my group attended, we found that they were not afraid to make funny jokes and talk about sexual topics (relating to healthy decisions) at all and this made the meeting fun and interesting. It was so entertaining and energetic, that you could really see that the people had a passion for the cause and time flew by while they were doing it. It seemed more like a bunch of friends hanging out rather than doing some work, while still getting things done. This "fun" attempt is also shown my The Scottish Country Dancing Club and The Hui O' Hawaii club, where they include dancing and games in their meetings and events to appeal to the community and members of the group so they not only learn but have a great time. Keeping the club's meetings fun and entertaining is a very important strategy in maintaining an effective club.
The Students of Optional Clothing's official goals are to "provide a positive, safe and nonsexual environment for addressing and investigating the cultural and somatic roles of clothing, create a community supportive of personal choice of dress (or lack of dress), and become comfortable with our natural forms and improve body image." However, a large part of ensuring those goals are met is ensuring that club activities are fun. Making events 'fun' is especially important considering the unconventional nature of the club. New members may feel awkward or self-conscious about dressing down - humor is an important tool in lessening members' nervousness. Like the Planned Parenthood VOX club, SOC's leaders ensure that club activities are laid back and use their humor to connect with interested people. SOC has found that doing silly things like playing board games naked can make new members feel more comfortable. They also recently organized a "Naked Hoe-down," an all-night-long event with live music. Not only is this concept also a little silly, but it sounds a lot more fun and interesting then just sitting around being naked, and the near-guarantee of some ridiculous situations is almost relieving. Since SOC must be creative when it comes to figuring out what kinds of events to plan (conventional "naked activities," like skinny dipping, are difficult to organize as public nudity is generally illegal), this accomplishment is critical.
The Associated Student Productions were responsible for a wide variety of events among campus. They host events such as films, concerts featuring local and well-known bands, open mic nights, and even lectures featuring controversial issues and many guest speakers. The most interesting and energetic of the ASP offices is the special event programs. Striving to bring delight and unity among the Western community, they feature anything from rap concerts and hydraulic car shows. Some other events of the past include Cirque de Flame (fire circus), the Ralph-Nader lecture, and visits from Ice-T, The Shins, and Techni9e. Successful at hosting events, the Associated Student Productions strives to bring entertainment to Western Washington University. Like the KUGS was Western Sound Federation, KUGS-FM mission is to serve the students of WWU in Bellingham, WA by providing a diverse program of music and information consistent with student interests. They are also staffed by students and consist of community volunteers. They serve as a bridge from the University and the surrounding community. One way that these programs stay effective is through organizational skills. Organizational skills are important when it comes to utilizing them in everyday life and especially in events that require the benefit of more than just oneself. One effective organizational strategy is one of a visual concept. Checklists ensure that all steps or procedures are followed in plain view. By utilizing organizers whether they be graphic organizers, checklists, subtitles, outlines etc. you are breaking down all the items that are to be included in assignments and provide goals be reached and ensure that checkpoints are in place. Agendas assist in keeping in place everything that needs to get done in a timely manner so that thoughts are not all jumbled up and things forgotten. You can see the way that this is utilized by these programs through their websites in which they post all events ahead of time for others to view and know what is going on.
The Western Strong Man club does not have many fun events. The purpose of this club is more one of self-gratification. The fun of this club is the self gratification a person gets from betting his or hers self image. Unlike the Hui O' Hawaii club that hosts Luaus to have fun and raise awareness. The Western Strongmen do not hold many events but having the know how and ability to make oneself look and feel better along with better health and awareness.
The Associated Students and Ethnic Student Center Clubs strive to make clubs enjoyable and for anyone and everyone. By hosting events, competitions, contests, etc. students are able to come together outside the academic work environment to have fun and learn something new. The point is to expand beyond what we are used to and meet new people which is what college is about. If we didn't have the ESC and AS clubs it would be detrimental to college life as it would hinder our attempts to make new friends and broaden our horizons.
The Dead Parrots Society hosts and attends events such as festivals and competitions where they compete with other teams, or just simply to showcase what skills each parrot has and to make the audience laugh. In interviews, the members explained the importance of making the audience happy and how that makes them feel. Some parrots even find the audience reaction to be the best and most fulfilling aspect of the club. Although they can win awards and use these events to further their career as well as using it as experience for future acting/improvisation jobs, the festivals, because they are so low-key and fun the primary reason for them is to have a good time.
Promoting a Message[edit | edit source]
Although Against Civilization's in group discussion can be broad and unfocused at times, they do have some main points that they wish to convey. Recently Against civilization paid to have Derrick Jensen ()to come speak at Western Washington University. While the event itself wasn't a leadership drive, every seat did have a brochure describing Against Civilization's views and had all of the contact and meeting info necessary for an interested person to get involved with the club. However, the focal point of the night wasn't the club, rather it was Derrick's radical message that Against Civilization's founding members are very much against. Being such a radical message, it was important that the event attracted people of like minds first and then presented them with a club that shares ideas second. By doing this Against Civilization has focused its recruitment methods, and at the same time promoted a message. While not promoting a message I think other clubs, for example the Harry Potter club, can use a tactic such as this to recruit members. While a Quidditch game or a Yule Ball might not promote a certain message, it would definitely bring people of the same interest together.
A very effective method in hosting events is for a group to create a lot of interest before the actual event so that more people will attend. This can be done with a little bit of enthusiasm from group members and with help from other groups. For a comparison, look at the Hawaiian Club whose members show tons of excitement in Red Square before holding a Luau or other get-together. By dressing up, waving signs, and talking in a friendly manner, they attract other students toward their project. The World Injustice Awareness Club effectively made people interested in their cause by dressing all in black in Red Square and talking about the School of Americas and about how many people have died due to the organization. For this event, the World Injustice Awareness Club got in touch with several other clubs on campus to garner further support and the substantial number of people they were able to gather made the event seem even more interesting to students passing by who then stopped to watch as members of the WIAC proceeded to the main point of their event: a "die in" in which the group members laid on the ground as if dead to represent the people killed by the School of the Americas. This dramatic touch to the event was very effective in giving the WIAC a victory in their cause by making people aware of the injustices occurring in the world. This event invited people to ask questions and learn more.
An effective organizational strategy that Women of the Wood’s uses is promoting a message. The club’s main goal is to involve women in outdoor activities and bring them together with other women, forming friendships. One of the events the club put on this quarter was a showing of a movie about women in Africa dealing with incontinence. While the movie didn’t directly relate to outdoor activities, it did a very good job of making all the girls feel united because you were able to see how poorly women were treated in other areas. The club also made t-shirts promoting their club, with some of the proceeds going to foundations helping women in Africa. The club also brings in women who are currently working in outdoor fields (a Mt. Rainer park ranger was one speaker this quarter) to promote outdoor activities and to also get women more excited about being outdoors. This is an effective organizational strategy because it gives the club more depth and shows that they are trying to make a difference. Another club that seems to do a very good job of promoting a message is Western’s Men Against Violence group. I’ve seen a lot of their advertising, in Red Square and through different fliers. The message they are promoting is such a strong one that it is a compelling issue for people to join. It’s very clear what the club is about as well.
Western Men Against Violence uses events like Walk a Mile in Her Shoes to involve students and community members and inform people about violence against women. Anyone who wants to is invited to march. Also they donate the money they raise from the event to the local women's shelter and this year they used the Boundary Bay Brewery as a place for people to congregate after the event, making the community more involved. Holding events like this is a very effective way of promoting the message that they are trying to spread. The group has also done bake sales and smaller events in the past.
As the president of the new AS Social Issue club on campus called the Student Coalition for Immigration Rights and our mission as is to bring awareness to the community about the struggles of U.S. immigrates through workshops. Our goal is to help them obtain a higher education and build a better future through the presentation of workshops and community involvement, and creating equal opportunities for all. All the member of Student Coalition for Immigration Rights has a common goal which is to bring awareness of undocumented students but to also move past awareness to taking action. All the members including myself have passion for our mission. However, this quarter we focused on creating workshops that we presented the last week of May for students, staff and Bellingham community. In this workshop we informed Western on students who want to pursued a higher education but cannot because they lack proper documentation. An example of this is if a student does not have a social security number they can’t apply for financial aid and therefore cannot get grants, loans, and often cannot get scholarships either. Even if undocumented students find a way to pay for college, without a social security number, they may not be able to get a job and this is creating and perpetuating a lower class of people that will never be able to move out of poverty. In our workshops, we addressed this and show that by supporting the D.R.E.A.M act, which allows undocumented students to obtain residency under certain requirements, thus they will be able further their education and have a chance to succeed and overcome barriers that they weren’t able to before. We also will focus on other undocumented individuals and provide workshops on how they can protect their rights. These workshops will acknowledge the voices that can’t be heard or can’t speak out.
A future struggle for S.C.I.R is whether things will be get done and accomplished. For this quarter it is that fact whether or not our workshops meet our deadlines. I believe they will if we all put in our teamwork and get our parts done. So far we have met one deadline which was the presentation for the Migrate Youth Conference which we got done and presented. It was kind of creamed but we were able to pull it off. A struggle that I fear is if we will get our events done for the deadlines and how they turn out. Something I have to remember from the interview I had with co-chairs for M.E.Ch.A. Mirella is that no matter how many people show up to the event you as a leader need to go with it all the way. And as Abraham said keeping your eyes on the goal no matter what and sometimes things fail but we learn from them. I am trying my best to be an effective leader but I am still learning. As a new club on campus we lack the knowledge of knowing how to run a club, especially in the funding for events, in particularly publicizing for the workshop we will be presenting. However, as a leader I will challenge myself to learn how to run a successful club by going to AS advisors and asking them for help or talking to Michel for the ESC for help on whom to turn too. Along with these terms I know all of the M.E.Ch.A. leaders and will ask for their guides. In the end we publicized as much as we knew through posters, fliers, and Facebook and we still go very few people. However, overall the workshops were successful by the fact that every audience that came learned something new which was reflected off their comments. However, I wish we could have gotten more people to show to our workshops. In the end we got all the posters for our presentations done and out on western campus but I wish we would have had it sooner. We will have to plan how to get more people to come for next year.
I believe our club is going to be successful even if we are new club on campus with less experience. Even at that we still have a strong support from M.E.Ch.A and have great recourse on campus of where to get help and if we use our resources wisely then we will make can make things happen. This summer I plan to get on step ahead for next year is creating an agenda which I will have other members helping me on it as well. We will be arranging an agenda of what we want to get done for next year and how we can make those goals happen. Another few things I wanted to add about S.C.I.R is we contact each other through email and we have a Facebook group. We plan to create a website of our club during the summer. I also added to our club’s mission after I had the interview with Abraham and Mirella, reaching to Middle and High School students in particularly those who are undocumented and encourage them to continue fighting for their education. I plan to introduce this to the club after our workshops here on campus. I will encourage S.C.I.R. members to present these workshops after finals to Middle and High School and try to make it a bit different by targeting students to continue their education whether documented or not. I am excited for this group and hope it makes a difference. I hope to let others voices be heard, but not only that we will be making changes to make sure their voices are heard through our workshops, supporting the Dream Act and through our club. We will continue to show promote awareness. Who knows maybe we will become a legacy. Where ever we end up I know we are making a difference.
Western Men Against Violence does do a great job of hosting events throughout the year. An example of that would be Walk a Mile in Her Shoes. This event is an annual march where men walk a mile in women’s shoes to stop sexual assault and rape. A lot of planning and advertising goes into walk a Mile in Her Shoes. WMAV creates posters through the campus’ publicity office to inform Western students. They begin this preparation about two months prior to the event. This event brings out a lot of male participants that are able to make a direct impact on the community. The club also raises money throughout the year to give to organizations inparticularly a local women's shelter. Another activity that a group member went into detail about was Take Back the Night. It is an all female activity where they walk down town at night. The men remain back at campus and hold a candlelight vigil. WMAV is a dedicated club that is willing to help other clubs.
Holiday[edit | edit source]
Holidays are a great excuse to host events because a lot of people have free time and are in search of something to do. Not only will this draw a lot of people, but holidays make it easy to advertise because instead of using the perks of the organization to lure people, the club can simply say "come celebrate the holiday season with us". This saying is universal, but virtually any club can use it to promote their own club. Another way to host holiday events is advertising holidays that are unique to a club. This will draw adventurous crowds and will ultimately benefit any club.
For the South Asian Student Association, and any cultural club in general, hosting events during unique cultural holidays is a great way to raise awareness, both for the club in question, as well as for the particular culture. Aside from that, holidays are a great reason to get group members together and add to the list of how members can relate to each other. A good example of this is the Luau put on by the Hui o Hawaii culture club, this event seems to be a hit year after year and is also a good means of recruitment. If these events want to be used as recruitment, early advertisement is recommended, if the event has enough to offer, and enough renown in the western community, it may even be possible for tickets to be sold to turn the event into a fund raiser. If it is not viable for a club to celebrate cultural holidays, unique cultural traditions can also be shared at westerns annual international night, such as the dance put on by SASA.
Hillel of WWU makes sure to conduct all of the major Jewish holiday events even during Western Washington University’s breaks, so that members are able to stay involved with their Jewish tradition away from home. Many members are unable to go home to their family synagogue for multiple reasons, but still want to participate in holidays they have grown up with. Hillel of WWU makes that possible, by conducting traditional events which are at either the local synagogue or at their WWU location. All of the proper ceremonies and possible dinners are performed, so that members can feel comfortable. The major holidays that they hold are Passover, Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, and Hanukkah. Rachel Rasmus, the Vice President of Hillel of WWU, jokes about the PYRH kids who only come for the holiday events, but for none of the other fun, social events that the group puts on. But that just shows that Hillel of WWU is a place for Jewish students to come and become more involved with Western and their religion. The Hui o Hawaii culture club also likes to put on Luau on every year for their members and for others to join, as a way of advertisement and a way for members to connect to their culture. Any type of activity that allows for the club to receive recognition from the rest of Western allows for students to hear of the club and possibly become involved as well. Hillel of WWU tries to promote their events and invite other to join so they are all able to experience the wonderful Jewish holiday events and become well known on campus.
Community Service[edit | edit source]
LEAD is a great AS group that has a large amount of people interested in their events. This is mainly because the nature of their "work parties" is so positive. Every event that they host cleans or promotes the environment, and many people want to take part in making their own community a more beautiful place to live. The fact that their events are services to the community not only attracts many people into taking part, but also helps with funding. Local businesses are very willing to donate money to an event that will make their local area a nicer place to live. The Men Against Violence have similar luck with events also because their events really are a benefit to the entire community. It seems for an event to go well not only do groups have to have some funding but there also needs to be a decent amount of people interested in the event, and a service to the community usually makes these two requirements easier to achieve.
Member Dialogue[edit | edit source]
This section includes solutions to problems of fundraising and fundraising ideas. This section includes need for fundraising, type of fundraising, collaborating with another group, and effective time and place for fundraising events.
Fundraising[edit | edit source]
Fundraising is an essential aspect to most clubs at Western Washington University. Fundraising equals money, which makes clubs expand and become more appealing to potential members, as well as encourage current members to stay. With more money the clubs can provide more opportunities for their members. For example, bringing professionals in to talk or putting on events. Fundraising also allows current members to become closer with each other, as they work together raising the money. When fundraising as a group or a team it is often easier for new members to transition into the club.
Many groups rely on fundraising to help support their club as well as plan and put on special events relating to their club. Fundraising can be conducted in many ways ranging from car washes to sponsorships from other organizations. The dependency of fundraising differs from club to club but all clubs need funding to keep their clubs going thus proves the importance of fundraising. Finding a secure form of fundraising for the club is necessary. Some clubs only fundraise once a year and others may fundraise throughout the year. Any amount of fundraising can help a club. Some go to parents and alumni while some do fun activities for funds.
Need for fundraising[edit | edit source]
A) The Scottish Country Dance Club are given an amount of 50$ by the AS. The program has bake sales and their own fundraisers to support the performances as well as members who can not afford the costs. On top of limited funding, the club has a lack of diversity. The women out number the men, making the traditional dance less realistic. With additional funding to help the program, the club could use the money to not only recruit more men, but use it to promote the club and getting attention from the entire University. Also, more men that join could spread the word to other men making the program more effective as well as more realistic.
The Western Washington University Associated Students clubs and organizations are allotted a budget at the beginning of the year for their needs. However, many clubs needs and events exceed what is provided. In order to take their programming to the next level many organizations have developed systems for obtaining the funds necessary for them to provide a service above and beyond what is provided. Although, some clubs do not use their budget at all. They raise their own money through fund raising so the club is not dependent oh Western. The clubs on campus do have their own personal budget, and yes some student groups do spend too much of their budget on pointless things, but most clubs use it for promoting their clubs with t-shirts and such.
A. The Slum Doctor Program needs to fundraise in order to keep their support up in Africa. They currently support around 54 girls in Africa which allows them to go to high school and get an education. Education is expensive for people in Africa because people are so poor. Its not that expensive for people here in America to support them. Also, the Slum Doctor Program helps with a hospital with people that have aids and spread awareness about it. Fundraising is greatly need to support the girls and also help with funding for the hospital. Bake sales are what work best, but they are looking for other events to join or even organize to get more funding.
How many fundraisers a year[edit | edit source]
Fundraising is big part of what makes the clubs and organizations here at Western Washington University, let alone anywhere else, stay afloat. It is really important to be able to raise money as often as possible or as needed. Fundraisers also help get the club or organizations name out to the community as well. They give the community a chance to talk to club members and find out what the club is all about. They can be a great way to bring people together.
Why fundraise[edit | edit source]
Fundraising for clubs is one of the most important pieces of a club, or at least one that is trying for bigger and better things to accomplish. It is almost always important for clubs to fundraise. This is because the amount of money each club is given at the beginning of the year isn't enough. There are many reasons why clubs need money such as activities, meetings, or advertisement. There are many ways clubs can fundraise and usually it shadows their club and what they represent. It gives out another source of advertisement that way. Fundraising can also leave a fun environment outside of the usual meetings.
The Hui O’ Hawaii club had a discussion and made a movement to purchase a shave-ice machine. During this conversation the group prominently implicated the desire to use this device as a fundraising mechanism. Their objective was to sell snow cones, etc. during spring, summer and possibly fall. This is an eminent method for having extra money in case unexpected merchandise is bought for the well-being of the club. Fundraising, such as selling snow cones or other goods, often provides awareness to other students about the club's overall goal and shows that the club desires to be active with the student body.
Along with providing awareness, active fundraising can make it possible for clubs to better achieve their goals and open doors to numerous possibilities. One of the major reasons why Students for Renewable Energy was able to get the school using 100 percent renewable energy was due to their relationship with the administration. Vice president of SRE stated that her advice to new clubs would be to, "Have good relationships with the administration and maintain them to keep projects going. The green energy fee given by the administration set a standard that SRE can only get things done with funding. It’s important to know who to talk to (board of trustees and the sustainability office) and who not to talk to."
In addition to the obvious purposes of fundraising, Rugby Club integrates other uses into their fundraising practices. Besides being a good way to gain exposure like the Hui O’ Hawaii Club does with their snow cones, fundraising can also be an opportunity to share ideas and welcome new members. An example of this is Rugby Club’s annual Alumni Banquet. At this event, former members of Rugby Club contribute to keep the club going, are treated to a nice dinner, and of course play a game of rugby. This allows newcomers to be initiated into the group and learn about the game from some older players. The alumni can also contribute ideas for fundraising and events having gone through the same things when they were members of the club. One other reason that the Rugby team has had to fundraise is because of the high cost of attending far away games. The university is only willing to provide a fixed amount each year to cover travel costs; since rugby often played several games in Canada, Oregon and California, and since about 20 people attend each game, the costs of traveling each year usually exceed the allotted amount of money by WWU.
In many cases the university does not have enough money to give as much financial support to as many clubs as they desire. The cycling club has great difficulty gaining funds while clubs such as the basketball club get a lot more support from the university. The cycling club has had to become very creative in the ways they get funds and promote themselves. Hosting events and being computer savvy helps the club get money for advertisement and other expensive needs.
Fundraising for events[edit | edit source]
Hosting events can be a great way for clubs and organizations to promote awareness for their cause. They are also a good tool for club members to get to know one another and bond as a group. In most cases, funding is required for various aspects of the event. The funding can come from a number of sources including sponsors, benefactors, savings or the university that they are affiliated with. In some cases however, events are actually held to gain funds from the event participants. In either case, event functions are generally quite important for the club that hosts them.
In the case of the Western Cycling club, the funds that the club gathers for the events that it hosts actually exceed the funds required for the event. Other schools in the division are required to pay a flat fee to compete in the event. This is in contrast to most events hosted by other clubs, such as LEAD which have to get funding for their events from benefactors and sponsors. The funding acquired in this way rarely exceed the requirements. The excess funds are used by the club to fund other club expenses.
Is there a need for fundraising[edit | edit source]
Most clubs here on campus use resources to fuel the club. Whether it be food for the members, discount rentals for excursions, tools to complete projects, or other general supplies, the clubs use money. For example The Hui O' Hawaii club has a moderately small intake as far as recruitment goes, its needs are lower than other clubs so It is understandable in a small club with no high profile donations, therefore; most clubs need fundraisers to help them build credibility and funds to eventually improve and evolve their membership. Fundraisers are a fun way to get people interested and active in their respective clubs, and they raise money for activities that will build further interest and move towards the clubs goals. No one wants to be a part of a club that does nothing so money will help the activities and meetings each club puts on. Donations, sales of goods, and events are all different methods WWU clubs have used to raise money. The Sub team for example has had large donations to the club from private donors. These funds are used for tools, travel, material, and even advertising. Each club has some form of fund raising to push their budget past what each club is allotted.
The World Injustice Awareness club needs fundraising in order to host more events in the future. As of right now the club tends to depend on the $50 allowance that they receive every month. Fundraising is important as it gives money to the club, which then gives the club members the opportunity to decide what they want to do with it. Fundraising is a good resource to make the club more well known to students. The only way the WIAC gets their name out there is by the club fair. One of the presidents of the club mentioned to me during the interview that I had with her that in order to advance their fundraising techniques, they will promote their club in the AS review and the Western Front. Overall, the WIAC can be maintained with a lower budget than other clubs because many of their events are held for free. The people that volunteer to participate in these events for WIAC are so thrilled that people are interested in social issues that money doesn't matter to them.
When clubs wish to hold events or activities, it is often the case that the funding comes out of the pockets of the members. For instance, the croquet club president, Devan Spencer (2009), pays for most of the cost from his own wallet. He provides all the equipment and also pays for most the prizes. Its raises the question of why? Why put your own money (especially as a college student) towards a club you participate in. Without tournaments, activities, and prizes, then what makes the club any fun? Fundraising can be a way to not only raise money but promote the group. Again referring to croquet club, a response that was given by the president of the club on the subject matter of what he would change was, "I wish the school offered some sort of website or schedule for clubs. Not everyone has a Facebook, and if we had a website, we could better keep track of events and the leaderboard. Also we could create fun things like player bios. All of these things will attract members and make them feel more apart of the club." Clubs are for enjoyment and friendly competition, but funding and other ways of promoting clubs would be beneficial for all clubs.
Although fundraising and money are often needed for AS clubs, a major strength of the Ritmo Salsa club is that most all of their resources used are free. This means that they don’t need to spend any excess money, and don’t need to worry about fundraising. All of the interviews in my group confirm that the $50 given to the AS clubs was enough to support the salsa club. In fact, they haven’t even used any of the AS money yet. In an interview with one of the presidents of salsa club, she stated “If we need money we have our AS budget, but we're saving that for a time when we may need it.” This is very different than most other AS clubs. For example in an interview with LEAD, they said “We get $50 a year allowance as an AS club, which does not get us very far. That $50 usually just gets used for office supplies.” By keeping the club simple, and taking advantage of free resources, some clubs can run completely free.
While most AS clubs rely on fundraising to fuel their group, Sexploration relies solely on the funds from the Sexual Awareness Center. Sexploration uses the funds from the Sexual Awareness Center for publicity. Sexploration chooses to advertise their club and meetings on Facebook, Western Washington University's website and by putting up posters around campus. They are allocated $72 per quarter, however this is more than needed due to the small cost of publicity. On the other hand, fundraising could be very beneficial to this club. The attendance of each meeting fluctuates due to the publicity of each meeting. If they used their funds from the Sexual Awareness Center and organized fundraising events, the money could go to more publicity to attract more members.
KUGS is a non-profit organization. As such, it has certain restrictions, as far as what they can say on the air, etc. For example, they cannot advertise for a business on the air, but they can thank business for a donation. Because KUGS is non-profit they rely on money from the University as well as money from donations. Most of the donations they receive are from local businesses. It is important that they receive these donations to keep operating. Also, they would like to expand their frequency from 10 to 100, but they cannot obtain this goal without the help of donations and fundraising, especially with budget cuts. KUGS has been operating for about 35 years now, so they must be doing something right!
The South Asian Students Association club needs fundraising to host more events. Fundraising is a great way to get people in the club to meet together and plan a way they can raise money. Fundraising is important as it gives money to the club, which can then decide what they want to do with it. There are many options; including hosting more events, having bowling nights, and even group trips to various locations in Bellingham or Canada. Fundraising is also a great way to attract more members. This year, the club has been very good about spending money; the balance for the money was pretty high. However, they have been donating a lot of it to other clubs so they can host some of their own events, which has been putting a hole in the balance. The club has some good ideas for fundraising, such as having a Henna Booth, which would attract many people.
The Western Rugby team is not financially supported as a team. Similar to the South Asian Students Association, fundraising is a must. The SASA needs funds to host more events while the Rugby team needs funds for equipment and competition. Financially, the rugby team relies on the small club budget provided by the university, club fundraising, donations, member contributions. The team’s main fundraising event is their Alumni event were they host a game between the current members and the Alumni, a big dinner and a game of golf all during the same weekend. Other fundraising activities include working for the cascade bicycle club, working security at events such as concerts and the apple cup. Although more disposable money would be nice for equipment and travel, the Rugby team currently at a bare minimum, does not require a tremendous amount of money. Members usually provide their own apparel (except jerseys) and shoes; they also usually provide their own transportation to matches. Tournament fees are also paid for by members and any funds the team may have in their account.
Fundraising is important to any non profit organization dedicated to helping others. The slum doctors program is all about raising money to support people in Africa. Any money gotten is used to buy food, health care, and educational access for people who would not this opportunity otherwise. In the past girls in Nigeria were sent to school but lack of funds has been an issue in recent times. Bake sales are always a good call for raising money because they don't require much to host but in recent weeks the end fair festival in fair haven was used both as a way to generate donations and spread the word about becoming a member. Ideas of T-shirts have been discussed which would be a great idea since you would be making money and spreading the word at the same time.
Many clubs are not in need of fundraising or fundraising events because they operate successfully with things that are already provided by the school. The WWU body building club only needs access to the REC Center which comes as a part of their tuition. As large a club as they are their major resource is people and in that case they do not need money. Even for their Western's Strongest Man competition they simply used equipment that was already provided by the school and simply used their man power to bring it out to the track. This is very similar to Western's Dance Clubs such as Tango or Ritmo Salsa because all they need is a room allotted to them by the University.
The Korean Student association does not have great need to fundraise for two major reasons. First off there are very few members and each meeting consists of presentations given by members of the group. No extra material is needed to fundraise larger quantities of money. For the occasional BBQ the group of course has money from the University as an allowance but usually each member of the group contributes independently one way or another. Although this may not work for groups needing many outside resources and larger groups, this system proves to work well for the Korea Club.
Fundraising is something that the WWU Cycling team needs in order to send their riders to events. Although they have sponsors, a membership fee, and the North Shore Circuit Race, the team still cover the traveling expenses for their top 5-6 riders. Unfortunately for them, when the host the North Shore Circuit Race some teams that come to compete have to pay a fee just so the Cycling team will make a profit. Fundraising is something that the Cycling team has to do, unlike the Ritmo Salsa club. The Ritmo Salsa club don’t have a need to fundraise due to the fact that almost all of the resources that they use, they use for free.
Every club has the choice of how to run their club. As a result, it can be seen that fundraising is a need, but also some clubs can go without fundraising. Like with the Ritmo Salsa club, as said has their own materials, and doesn't feel the need to necessarily fundraise. The advantages of fundraising though include the interest of more members added to the club and also it can also be useful to have that extra money which can provide new materials/equipment, more effective ways to try new things for the club, etc. So yes, fundraising does have their advantages and does help with supporting the clubs and all, but here, in some examples, fundraising is not a necessary demand.
Types[edit | edit source]
The clubs at Western are offered a certain budget, so they have to fundraise to be able to get all the money that is needed to host events. Many clubs go about fundraising in multiple different ways that help lead them to the success of their club and events. Some different types of fundraising are verbally communicating money requests, posters designed to attract publicity to the club, having students sign a petition explaining why the club needs money, and hosting rallies or conventions to draw positive attention to the club. It is essential to have a variety of types of fundraising strategies for obtaining more funds for the club. Each type of fund raising increases the clubs chance of receiving additional funds to help support the clubs financial needs. One great way though to get your name out there and receive support is vendors row. Everyday thousands of students just from WWU pass through there and even more people from groups that are visiting to just people walking through. One of the leaders from the campus organization called S.E.E. has told me how whenever they do fundraising they always try to get a place on vendors row just because its so popular. For those of you who don't know where it is located it is the area between the street in front of the VU commons and door way to VU market. There are some well known vendors that reside there such as El Capitans hot dog stand which has been able to make good money by having a stand on vendors row. Its a good place to get publicity and funding at the same time and is worth taking a travel down because you never know what you'll find.
Another effective form of fund raising is through grant writing. The internet is a key tool for finding grants that apply to the club's focus. There are thousands of grants out there for very specified issues and purposes. There is a class offered at Western on grant writing. Applying for grants may be one of the most efficient ways to fund raise because grants range from small amounts of money to tons of money.
Method[edit | edit source]
Western Washington University's LEAD group (an environmental organization) seems to be very skilled at obtaining capital. This strength lies largely in their ability to network in the community to access finances. In an interview the group’s assistant director, she said that the group gets most of its money via charitable donations from the Bellingham community. In interviewing the assistant director, she said “... local businesses are more than willing to donate money to a club when the group is all about making the local area cleaner and environmentally friendly.” Donations come from local businesses like Fred Meyer, Haagen, Avenue Bread, and the Bagelry. It is the job of the co-directors of the group to contact local businesses for charitable donations. The strength of fundraising is similarly seen in Western’s Chabad Jewish club. The Chabad group also looks to the Bellingham community to obtain funding to conduct activities. In the case of Chabad, they look to Jewish individuals of the community for donations as well as local synagogues. LEAD however, makes a connection with local businesses to get funds. Regardless of the source, a group that can look outside its immediate means and into the community for financial help can prove to be very efficient and prosperous.
Western Washington University’s Photography club is a fairly new club. It is only a year old but developing quickly. Fundraising is currently the club's main focus. The president of the club, Carmen, is raising money for the use of the darkroom on WWU campus by participating in art walks. Each member of the club hopefully will have work that they’d wish to sell. The photos will sell however, Carmen says “…finding places to sell the groups photos is difficult”. The photography club isn’t the only club that fundraises by selling things. The WWU Biology club holds yearly bake sales that accumulate a good amount of money. They use this money for other things such as gas for field trips or Biology Club T-shirts.
Western's submarine club's members are incredibly lucky. The submarine club generally does not have to fundraise because they get funding from private donors. However, their members have specific skills in engineering submarines so they do not have to be incredibly selective in their choosing of members. Although their private donors account for most of the money they are allotted, they also publicize their projects. Their publications draw in prospective students to their programs which allows them to gain more funding for the club's purpose.
Success[edit | edit source]
Successful fundraising is key in order for clubs to make enough money to host activities and/or events. The A.S. only supplies $50 to clubs, so additional funds need to be raised. Current Western clubs have had success with various types of fundraisers, including alumni events, letter writing/calling for donations, and asking local businesses to be club sponsors. Bellingham businesses consistently offer donations and support to Western clubs. Clubs that have had success with local businesses report that organization is key to securing funds. Businesses will be more willing to donate if clubs appear professional and organized.
Western Washington University's Rugby Club has continual success each year with their end of the year Alumni Event. Each year the club holds a dinner for their Alumni members, with an actual game that follows; current players against past members. The captains said this event is always a huge success for their club because the Alumni members enjoy getting together and talking about the good old days, and with that, usually contribute a good amount of money to the club. The Rugby Club was unique in the fact that other Western AS clubs mentioned that successful fundraising was a need for their club rather than an asset. It would be beneficial for other AS clubs to incorporate some sort of Alumni event into their agenda because not only do past members of the club really enjoy the event, current members also take delight in getting to know its club's history and people. Since the event is held in honor for Alumni events, the past members are willing to contribute a fair amount of money to club, ultimately giving the current club more opportunities to grow.
Another club that has had successful fundraising attempts is WWU's Students for Disability Awareness (SDA)group. Through social networks, such as the Western Foundation, writing letters, calling for donations, and various resources on campus, the SDA has had shown strong accomplishments in fundraising. Just this past year, the SDA raised nearly $290 for a student to travel to Taipei, Taiwan to participate in the Deaflympics. The SDA and WWU's Rugby Club both are similar in that fundraising is not a necessity, but instead a useful element in the AS club network. Helping the student travel to Taipei was not necessarily a need for the club, but instead an enriching experience for those apart of the effort. As stated previously, SDA uses many resources to their benefit. For example, the Activities Council, Board of Directors Large Event Loan Fund (for large events like Disability Awareness Week), and the Diversity Fund are all financial resources that are available to the SDA. In addition to these organizations helping to raise money, the Diversity Resources for Students is able to provide printing and copying services to the club for little to no cost. The WWU Rugby Club and the SDA both are remembering to first look at the willing resources (alumni, on campus organizations) for fundraising and using those sources to advance their club and provide quality diverse programs to the WWU community.
WWU clubs can find fund raising success from the university community and from local Bellingham businesses. In interviewing Ryan, a former member of the Western Sound System Federation (Reggae and world music club), it was revealed that this organization had strengths in the realm of finances. The WSSF utilized funds available through the school, in addition to grants from outside, commercial sponsors. Ryan said “there’s a lot of money out there available for clubs at Western. As long as you have a truly good idea and you can prove to the school that they should have reason to invest, they will help your club out.” In an interview with a member of Western cycling club, Yale Johnson found that members of this club were in part supported from outside, commercial sponsors such as Noble Sports Chiropractic, Felt Bicycles and Haggen (supplying cyclists with food). By building rapport with local businesses, university clubs can build a relationship of success with companies that sponsor them. This reciprocal dynamic is beneficial to all involved.
After reviewing the successes of fund-raising by the clubs here at WWU, it seems apparent that despite the effort and contributions made in clubs, it is essential to have some type of outside financial support. In a community like Bellingham, it seems like local corporations, companies, and even individuals are quite generous, and that most would happily consider providing some kind of donation to a club that needed money for its growth and prosperity. Just as all the clubs above have done, the LEAD club has found ways to make up for insufficient funding by fund-raising in the community. For example, the club put together a work party on Earth Day to collect money. Their fundraising primarily is through advertisement and personal meetings with members of businesses here in Bellingham. If LEAD proceeds to create more fundraising opportunities, they will benefit tremendously in their ability to recruit new members.
Types[edit | edit source]
When fundraising is mentioned, the majority of people may think of bake sales, pledge walks, or knocking on doors and with the availability of using vender row in front of the Viking Union. A type of fundraising that is also beneficial for advertising, however, is finding a business or even a single person, to serve as a sponsor for the club. Women in the Woods for example, might be able to find a small company that sells outdoor equipment willing to sponsor their activities. This would allow the company to advertise its own goods while enticing students to participate in the club as well. It would be similar to local sport teams that are sponsored by businesses within the community. Not only does finding a sponsor save the hassle of setting up multiple fundraisers, but it can be beneficial for the sponsor AND the club while developing important relationships. Clubs would be able to inquire about sponsors by writing up letters explaining what their club is about, events that they would like to plan, and the request for a sponsorship or even a simple donation, depending on the financial situation at the time. The leaders of the club should then present this letter to a manager, supervisor, or owner in person while introducing themselves on behalf of the club. In some cases, it might also be appropriate to call a few days later to simply check in and remind them of their previous visit. If someone does agree to sponsor the club, it is then the clubs responsibility to keep the sponsor informed of events, specific needs, and to create some sort of advertisement that can be posted at events that represents their sponsor. At the end of the year, it is essential to further thank the sponsors with an appropriate card and gift and inquire about further sponsorship for the next year. Now a fundraising that could be more convenient to the students here at Western, club members can utilize the venders row that is in front of the Viking Union. Making Western Diverse took this to this full advantage with the selling of Jamba Juice smoothies to fundraise for an upcoming event in the fall. With the access of customers being the students who walk in and out of the Viking Union each day, the fundraising event was deemed as successful.
The WWU Cycling club has developed a synthesized approach to both fundraising and advertising for their clubs membership as well as prospective memberships. WWU Cycling hosts the North Shore Circuit Race where schools in the same division as Western participate, as well as non-school affiliated riders participate All riders pay an entrance fee, and become eligible for services,(Noble Sports Chiropractic) discounts,(Felt Bicycles) and other items (Haggen Foods)that the clubs sponsors donate. The monies generated by this event coupled with the club's club fee provide the majority of funds "needed" allowing the club to utilize their time training.
One good way to raise money for a club is having a bake sale. The Biology club has had great success in the past with bake sales. The club's main needs for funds are for t-shirts and field trips. By having a bake sale in which people contribute goods to sell, the club is able to do the things they want to do. For example, this year, the Biology club held a bake sale and raised enough money to buy t-shirts for the club and also go to the Seattle aquarium. There are many effective strategies for fundraising, but none are more delicious than baked goods!
Another great idea for fundraising has been a tradition in the sailing team for a number of years. This type of fundraising may not work for all clubs but is a pretty inventive way to make some money for the team. Each year the sailing team hosts an alumni regatta. This is a race that is put on by the members of the club for alumni. The team charges for tickets for the race. The race also is an opportunity for the team to sell t-shirts and other goods. Since not all clubs are sports teams this may not work. This is a great way for the team to show the alumni what the Western sailing team is all about. Though this year is not expected to be quite as profitable due to the economy it is still a fun way to raise some money. This type of interactive fundraising is moving along the right track instead of just the sale of products or asking for donations teams can simply provide entertainment ant their time.
A strategy that the WWU Cycling team has used and developed over the years is the combination of fundraising and hosting an event to fund team expenses. Each year the cycling club hosts a collegiate race for all of the schools in the conference, and to promote fundraising they have extended this race so it is open to the public as a USA Cycling condoned event. This race- and the great increase of money earned from entry fees associated with opening it to the public- has proven to be a successful and worthwhile use of time and has helped the team grow and compete. Other student organizations may not have structure in place like USA Cycling, but it is a fundraising opportunity that also allows you to interact both with students with similar interests and with the community, so it is well worth the effort put in place to organize it.
For clubs that don't have very many expenditures, there is a simpler method. When the tango club needs money for events they ask for small contributions from members who plan to attend. This works well if there is no membership fee for the club. As long as club leaders ask for small donations, members are usually willing to chip in More costly events may require other methods, such as the biology club's bake sale, but for a club with minimal expenditures, this is a good method. It requires little effort and can generate the required funds very quickly.
Collaborating with another club[edit | edit source]
Finding groups to collaborate that have a similar fan base can be a huge asset to both parties. One main issue that many groups seem to struggle with is no so much keeping members returning, it's catching their attention and getting them involved initially. This is one way for larger, well defined groups to help newly emerging groups gain more popularity. Multiple clubs working together can produce a very successful event that is much more beneficial to all of the clubs involved and it can aid the new group in learning ways to effectively fundraise and gain new tactics to drawing in crowds.
Benefits of collaborating[edit | edit source]
Collaborating with other clubs can be extremely useful and beneficial. During times when clubs are facing problems using other clubs for support can help revive and assist them in solving their problems. When the South Asian Student Association (SASA) faced difficulties in retaining membership collaborating with Latino Student Union (LSU) proved to be successful in increasing attendance. SASA and LSU put on a joint bonfire which attracted new members to both clubs. In the Ethnic Student Center (ESC) through steering meetings, collaboration and communication is shown between the clubs. The clubs all vote on where the ESC money should go to and also use each other to advertise and promote their events on campus. At each club meeting, the steering rep announces all the activities and events other ESC clubs are putting on. Another example of the benefits is shown through the strong collaboration effort between Woodring Clubs Diversity Inspired Volunteer Educators (DIVE) and Student Washington Education Association (SWEA). These two clubs often put on many joint events and many members are in both clubs. The benefits have lead to a strong cohesion and use of each other’s resources. When unable to fundraise enough money they have collaborated and reached the goal together. An example of this is when they created a joint Relay for Life team. Collaboration and communication between clubs is an effective tool and often yields a plethora of benefits.
There are many benefits that come along with collaborating with other clubs. The Students for Disability Awareness (SDA) have found that working with other clubs can really help to balance out the cost of the functions. SDA is very active and is constantly working towards new events to put on to spread the awareness of disabilities—around school and town. Funding is imperative when planning events/functions so by working with other organizations, SDA is able to do a lot more. They often work with AS Productions and AS Civil Controversy because those are larger clubs with a lot more funding from fundraising. Also, SDA works with smaller clubs that have similar goals to plan events and collaborate on how to spread awareness. During the Disability Awareness Week, SDA had to work with many other clubs to be able to put on the events they had planned. SDA worked with AS Civil Controversy to bring in a guest speaker to discuss what it's like to be a disabled transgender. By working together, these two clubs put on a great production and thus shows the benefits of clubs working together.
Another benefit that comes from clubs collaborating with one another is an increased potential for fundraising. The Students for Slum Doctors Program has been successful in fundraising by working with the Darfur Club. In the past these two clubs have joined together and experienced an increase in turnout and an increase in contributions at the events they hosted together. In clubs that have a fairly specialized agenda and a small amount of participation from the community there is great potential in allocating resources. By combining events and awareness activities with similar clubs more people are drawn to the events and there is a greater possibility for fundraising and spreading awareness. Other clubs, such as the World Injustice Awareness club have also had success with hosting joint movie nights to spread awareness and raise money. When trying to reach a large enough group to make a difference in fundraising and awareness joining efforts with similar clubs seems to be a technique that is very effective.
What groups usually collaborate together[edit | edit source]
It is necessary to realize that collaboration is not limited to clubs geared towards students only. Clubs can find allies in any similarly-themed organization, whether connected with the university or not. In addition to the on-campus Wellness and Prevention Center, the Western Men Against Violence club found they could be useful by helping the local Rape Prevention Center hot-line, often fundraising with them for the organization's benefit. They participate with other like-minded male and female community members and clubs in awareness activities like Walk a Mile in Her Shoes. They also are careful to not become too specialized. They don't hesitate to collaborate with females and participate in exclusive events like Take Back the Night. However, they are mindful of who they associate with. For example, VOX Planned Parenthood initially wanted to collaborate, but Western Men Against Violence refused because of the concern that they would become associated with politically-charged topics. Moreover, they try to maintain their focus by keeping the club simplistic and always available for non-judgmental conversation. They keep their options open and don't discriminate heavily on who to participate with, so long as it is ultimately beneficial to feminist ideals.
A. As far as groups collaborating, the Photography club has the option to join and assist all clubs. They could easily come together with other clubs and help each other promote their clubs by taking pictures that show what the clubs are about and make posters with them. If there was only one club the Photography club would work well with though, it would have to be the Graphic Design club. With the combined passion of film and graphics, they would be able to create some amazing imagery not only to promote both groups but to sell as fundraisers as well. Collaborating between clubs would be the one element that would not only bring the clubs together, but it would possibly bring unity to Western as a community.
Effective Place and Time for fundraising[edit | edit source]
Planning a fundraiser is a lot of work in itself yet there are many other details that need to be considered before planning the actual event. Two of these important details include when and where the fundraiser will take place. Club members need to take into consideration the time of year when setting a date. For example, planning a fundraiser the weekend before finals would most likely conflict with many students study schedules therefore creating a low number of participants. Holiday weekends would also be poor timing for fundraisers. The time of day should also be well thought out whether the activity would be more effective in the morning, afternoon, or at night. Keep in mind the weather would also change with the time of day if the activity is planned for outside. Finally, where the activity takes place is crucial. If students are targeted for a fundraiser, somewhere close to campus would most likely be more effective then far away. If the community is targeted, there are many options and with good advertising anywhere may do. Clubs should also remember to think about the where and when access for their volunteers as well as targeted fundraiser participants.
On Campus[edit | edit source]
Events and club meetings that are on campus are more accessible for people that do not have cars. On campus meetings are also effective for new comers to the area, if you are not used to the town it is easier to find an event or club that is held on campus. In fund-raising it is better to accept donations rather than to have prices. for instance if you are selling cupcakes, you would receive more money by asking for donations rather than charging a dollar or whatever amount for one. you also need to have information on when the right time to accept donations, you don't want to be out fund-raising with another club at the same time in the same area. Theses techniques can be helpful for attaining money for club necessities.
On campus fundraising also has a better chance of reaching people who may not have known about your club or the event. If you do your event in a place where there is a lot of foot traffic i.e. red square there is a greater chance of someone who had no previous experience with the club to donate or help out. Especially if you are a student organization and you share you bring awareness to the struggle of your club, many other students will be willing to help fellow classmates. If people don't know that you need money for your club then they wont be able to help you. If your club is struggling have a fundraiser and let people know and watch not only your money increase but people interested in your group and potential new members.
Fundraising is only successful if there is an adequate amount of participation. It is easy to find this participation on campus through the means of signs, posters, Facebook ads, email announcements, class announcements, etc. It is also a good way to get students involved in school activities and the value of being supportive to peers. By participating in fundraising a student learns how to give back to their community. The sense of giving that comes from donating can add character to a college student.
Off Campus[edit | edit source]
Off Campus fundraising can be very effective. LEAD has local businesses who donate (either food or money), who they have built a relationship with over the years. A key thing is to go to the same business so that they build a relationship with the club. Be sure to mention that they are supporting their local community. If you think of such organizations as Krispy Kreme, they help with fundraising. I have seen many student booths set up selling Krispy Kreme Donuts. They have official boxes that even say "fundraising" down the side. Most businesses think that helping the community is good PR, so the majority of the time you can easily get businesses to agree to support you.
Effective time to have a fundraising event[edit | edit source]
For the Hui O' Hawaii club, spring, summer and the beginning of fall are going to be there best times for fundraising. They recently voted to purchase a shaved ice machine that they can use during spring, summer and part of fall quarter to sell shaved ice to students during the warm weather season. This type of fundraising would effectively allow them to earn a lot of money and show to the rest of the community that they want to continue being part of the student body. Another club that is good with putting on events is the Students for Disability Awareness club. The SDA devotes a week to their club for the public to participate and are able to rent out wheel chairs to put themselves in the shoes of a disabled person. They also work with other organizations such as the AS Productions and the Civil Controversy Series to put on co-sponsor events which allow them to spread their word out while getting extra financial help from other organizations.
Effective place for a fundraising event[edit | edit source]
There are many ideas to take into account when finding a location to fund raise. For most is population traffic. In order to fund raise efficiently, an organization needs to appeal to a large crowd, so locating in a spot with a high rate of pedestrian traffic is idea. A location such as red square is a good example, as the submarine team has fund raised there many times. It is a main hub for traffic through the university, and it is all by people on foot; people on foot are much more likely to stop and see what an organization has to say rather than that of a car-ridden person. Another aspect to consider about location is the type of people at that location, as an organization will be less successful in an area that does not support there cause, such as a Peta rally in a cattle town. Also it is wise to consider time of year, as a ski team fund raiser in the middle of summer is not the most ideal time of year to draw people's emotions to snow.
A great place to fund raise is at a concert, dance performance, theater performance, or comedy event. If admission is free, students are much more likely to put a few bucks in a donation box. If a hundred people each gave a dollar or two a club could make 100-200 dollars in a single event. This can be a very effective way to raise money among students who often don't have more than a dollar or two to spare.
Leadership and Communication
This section includes solutions to problems of leadership and communication.
Activities that build leadership skills among members[edit | edit source]
An organization is nothing without its leaders. In order for the student organization to continue operation, new members must come in and take over the roles of the outgoing and graduating students. There are several traits that are seen as important to being able to lead effectively, and it is very true that there are “natural” leaders, or those who possess those traits naturally, as part of their personality, however this is not true for most people. Therefore, in order for the club to ensure survival, it is often necessary for the group to actively work at preparing new leaders for the tasks involved in taking over the organization. One solution in achieving this are events specifically designed to help bring these traits out in those who otherwise wouldn't have displayed them in order to prepare them for their future leadership roles. For example, in the Scottish Country Dance Club, during an interview with Rebecca, she said that before she was even considered a leader, she did things with new members before class to help them learn the steps. In turn, the new members grew to respect her and listen to her. As the groups respect for her grew, she naturally became a leader of the SCDC. As members and leaders come and go from these clubs, it is important that members continue to pass down their skills and attitudes to the new members. This way, the clubs will continue to grow in members, experience and knowledge.
There are many activities that groups can do to develop and prepare leaders. By organizing games and challenges where a strong leader is a necessity, people can develop their skills as leaders and become more comfortable being in charge of a group. An example of one such game is done with a large group where each person is given a number in succession. The group is then blindfolded and must organize themselves in a line by their numbers. In this activity, because one's sense of sight is removed, someone must become a leader and organize and work with the others. Simple activities such as this are very beneficial in getting people comfortable with being in charge and build camaraderie within a group. There are also texts that can help hone a leader's skills. These books discuss how leaders should interact with the people they are in charge of, how to present themselves, and how to be an effective leader. Being an effective leader is not easy, and it is more than just telling others what to do. A leader must work with others and lead by example.
Challenges of Leadership/Communication[edit | edit source]
Effective leadership is the backbone to any group or organization. The leader acts as a facilitator for the group and without it the group has little chance for success. A groups communication is only as good as its leader's. There have been many groups that couldn't make it past the first six months because the leaders were not equipped to guide them through the trials that a young club encounters. Challenges can occur when there is no definitive rules or chain of command to follow. There can be a fall out if two or more individuals cannot work together for the betterment of the club. The leadership must put aside their egos in order to fully actualize what they hope their club to be. They must follow the words of Gandhi and "be the change they want to see".
Effective communication is a necessary and difficult aspect between any clubs members and their operations within the club. With many people doing different jobs and being in charge of many different activities it is in many cases difficult to effectively and timely communicate with all members in the club because of various obligations and duties that each member is in charge of. However despite how difficult effective communication can sometimes be, it is a vital and necessary part of each successful club. Having a leader of the club who can organize activities and obligations can greatly assist in avoiding the confusion between club members and contribute to good communication in a given club.
Ways to communicate effectively[edit | edit source]
Communication is one of the most important aspects in the effective management of a club. Without communication, even poor communication, club members wouldn't know when to come to meetings or what events were being organized. There are many different ways people can communicate. Contact through student email ensures a large number of people are exposed to important information, especially as most students are required to check email frequently. Social networking sites also provide clubs free and easy ways to inform people, without having to constantly update an email list. The prevalence of cell phones provides a variety of options for communication as well. Clubs can call members, send out group text messages, send and receive email or access social networking sites via the internet depending on the phone. Posting fliers or having members pass them out in public places can be effective as well. Any one of these options can have some degree of success, however, for the greatest amount of exposure, clubs should use as many of these options as time and resources will allow.
In addition to understanding the different mediums available for communication, it is essential that club leaders (and/or members) are able to communicate effectively in terms of content. Not only must clubs reach members or potential members via posters, emails, Facebook, etc., but they must present information in a way that positively impacts the club. This may seem obvious, but clubs who are having trouble in recruitment or member involvement may need to re-assess the content of their communications - a club who sends out a weekly email that is boring, vague, too informal/formal for the clubs purposes, etc. may not see the results they would expect from providing a regular means of communication with its members. Communication within the club-meeting setting is equally, if not more, important. It is important for club leaders to use skills in communication to create dialogue with members and to tailor the club to members' wants and needs. Some clubs focus on subjects which require special attention to the way information is presented and shared among members.
Strong leadership positions are crucial to the success of an organization. Leaders not only host events and manage the logistics of a club, they help bring in members and get people excited about a club. However, the most important thing they do is communicate to group members or people interested in the club in safe and contusive ways. Sexploration, a controversial club that is focused entirely on issues that many believe to be taboo, the leaders work very hard to make sure that they are communicating in a way that makes participants feel safe and free to open and have real talks about extremely personal issues. The leaders: Grace and Ashley want to make sure that no one feels it is not okay to be open about topics such as sex, and that this club is a safe environment to have such talks. Sexploration is not the kind of club you want people attending if they do not plan to participate or take the discussions seriously so it is important to make sure that people attending meetings are not just there for mess around. Like the YES!+ club, Sexploration communicates to previous participants via Facebook, which has been effective at getting people to come to meetings.
Throughout our service learning project it is apparent that organization is a key component within clubs here at Western that can lead to effective leadership and communication. Specifically creating individual positions with each focused on a separate job or goal within the club allows for a time effective highly productive club. For example in my analysis the A.S. club, LEAD, I state “LEAD’s overall organization and promptness are due to all of the group member’s dedication and passion for the environment and to their club’s success as well as clear and concise expectations of one another.” Through dedication to specific areas of expertise and interests, effective communication towards the community and within the club can occur. A student from the Harry Potter club states, “Although the president can get meeting events organized in the beginning, everyone has a hand in leading the club.” It is evident that effective communication comes from organization that focuses on assigning club members to their specific interest areas which ensures prompt deadlines and passionate communication. Jordan Yentzer from the A’capella club states, “Organization allows a functional routine for the group to follow, which hence allows for better productivity.” By allowing club members to focus on their specific interest area, clubs are ensuring better more detailed communication between club members and the community due to club members dedication to their job or interest area.
With the constant development of technology and the overwhelming increase of its use for communication, its no wonder it has become an effective way of communicating information among group members, especially in younger generations. The leaders of the Photography club shared that they've found Facebook to be the most effective way of communicating with each other because it is so commonly used by people (especially college students), so it is checked and updated very regularly. The Photo club also uses their Flickr website to share their work with each other. The Men's Ultimate Team, which is a club sport, uses Google Groups to facilitate contact between members of the club. The variety of functions within Google Groups allows members to regularly check the specific group for new posts as well as receive an email to any desired email account whenever there is a new post to the group. These multiple ways of receiving important information allowed the Men's Ultimate team to stay in constant contact outside of meetings and practices. Students researching the Students for Renewable Energy club noted that they felt SRE "must work on updating their website to reflect their meeting changes" and that by keeping it updated it "might help in their quest for new members." Technology has become key to the way the world communicates today, and through its use, groups could greatly improve their organization, as well as recruitment, and involvement of existing group members. By being updated with the use of technology, groups can be more efficient and on top of things, enabling themselves to move forward as they learn and grow.
While technology can be a very helpful way to communicate on a broader spectrum much more efficiently, it can also cause problems. Because there are so many different ways to network, (some being, Facebook, Myspace, text messaging, or regular email) things can become confusing and information can get lost in the see of technology. As mentioned by the Croquet club, they send out information via Facebook and text messaging which could pose a problem if people do not check either of these things regularly. As for the YES! club, this club is in fact not even a club any more and has since merged in with the Meditation club. The problem with this is that through Facebook and other modes of social networking, not everyone got the memo and some people still believed there to be a YES! club in existence.
While many groups have come to rely heavily on technology as a form of communication-via e-mails, Facebook and Twitter announcements- it is important to note that these forms of communication can also be ineffective. In some cases, relying on technology alone, as opposed to other means such as word of mouth and speaking to group members in person, can lead to a breakdown of communication. Even though this new found technology can lead to the cause of misinforming of communication breakdowns, it is still much better than when things just got by via word of mouth or making home phone calls. Having a website with any at all information about a club is still better than no website at all, even if it is a little out of date. If someone isn't reliable to look at their cell phone once a day to see a text message, there is no way they would effectively communicate better via word of mouth. As ineffective as these means of communication seem to be, they are still the best possible option.
Many clubs may be too large or too spread out to effectively be able to regularly hold meetings in order to communicate. For clubs that have members that do not often see each other and operate individually or apart from the rest of the group meetings will not be efficient as well. In the busy world of today everyone has their own schedules to keep up with so the larger the number of people in a club the harder it is to keep it together. For example the WWU Bodybuilding club is so large that most members do not even know each other. In this case it is very important that the leadership communicate effectively through means such as email, a website, or a Facebook group.
Although it is crucial for groups to be able to communicate about events and gatherings it is also important to know how communicate when everyone has come together. An effective organizational strategy displayed within the Dead Parrots Society is their high level of communication with one another. They communicate beyond what is shared in a normal conversation. They play many improv games to start their meetings including eye contact, body language, and reading each other’s implication of movement and verbal comments for their humorous response. The fact that this group shares a common passion and is meant to be funny there is a relaxed vibe with the group however they can still comfortably criticize their peers’ craft. They communicate on many different levels with each other, creating a comfortable and welcoming community within their environment. This kind of communication can be related to Jilian Murdock’s report of the Scottish Country Dance Club. She speaks of how the club accepts all students, regardless of their dance experience and adjusts teaching/communication styles to challenge experienced dancers and avoid overwhelming the new dancers. Once you have created a welcoming environment and adjust your teaching for different group levels and forms of communication result in a solid and comfortable foundation for a group to succeed.
Facebook has changed the world of communication. As we can see from the examples, it can help any club. Unlike email, Facebook has the ability to create groups. When a change is made in the group section by a leader of the club, then every member of the group is notified. Leaders of any club should take advantage of Facebook groups and create a group for their student club, if they haven't done so already.
As you can see there are varied types of ways to communicate effectively. Wither it be through Facebook, in person, over the phone or even in e-mails. Bodybuilding club, Dead Parrots Society and LEAD are only several examples of clubs that use effective communication in many different ways. Depending on what kind of club it is, the communication may be differently. For example, for a smaller club communication may happen through phone conversations, however with a larger group it is much more likely that communication may happen through Facebook or through emails. The best way to use communication throughout the groups is to use many different types in order to be most effective in order to communicate to the biggest amount of people in order to spread the necessary information.
Working together[edit | edit source]
In one person's life, they will encounter many different people from many different backgrounds and they will in one way or another, talk to them, encounter them, or have to work with them. Therefore, it is very important for clubs, who represent and incorporate people from various situations to represent them properly. The following are ways for student organizations to better accomplish this task.
As the research continued with the Hui O’ Hawaii club, it was brought to the interest group’s attention that the previous year had been under the authority of someone else who had graduated that last spring. This meant new leadership at the beginning of this academic year with little guidance. During the interview one member stated that because of this situation things have been vastly different than in the years past. The strategy of leadership this year has involved the cooperation and involvement of all members, where the group appears to be less reliant of one person and more dependent on the group itself. The current welfare of Hui O’ Hawaii and its recent changes with leadership has been affected in a positive way—bringing the group closer together, creating a strong bond of friendship, and establishing a warm, affectionate atmosphere.
While attending a meeting of the Hui O' Hawaii club, the interest group noticed that when one member brought up a matter to be discussed. She asked the rest of members to be respectful and share their ideas with other members. With her the other members shared their opinions and voted on the matter. Later the interest group learned that the group does not have an actual leader of the club because everyone is effectively participating in the club related matter. No one in the club seemed to feel left out, but work together as a group.
Although the Student- Homeless Outreach Team (SHOT) has and is currently facing setbacks, they remain strong and open minded about their club. Their biggest asset is their leadership ability. They may only have four members, but they spread out the work and come to meetings with a general plan for discussion. Leadership in SHOT is pretty equally divided amongst the members. Each person contributes in some way during the week and come back the following week to report their success. Their leadership abilities lead to a more cooperative club, which has helped them increase their turn-out rates for their “Be Our Guest” event.
The Harry Potter club has found that the most effective way to communicate is to have each member of group have some say in what direction the Harry Potter choices to take. In this system, each member has some influence over what the club does or does not do. This allows everyone to communicate what they want clearly and efficiently, without one person overruling everything. They have found this to be extremely effective in making sure everyone feels free to not only participate, but also knowing that their opinion is valued. The technique is different than that of the SHOT club. The SHOT club only has four members and each of them has a ¼ of the power in the club. This club is also similar to the Harry Potter club because each member (although there is a different amount) is allowed and even encouraged to communicate. The Harry Potter does have a president to help keep order and work out the logistics, but everyone is still encouraged to speak their mind.
The Rugby Club is very effective when it comes to communicating and working together as a team. The team captains name is Jason who happens to be a senior and four year Rugby player here at Western. Leadership is mainly on his shoulders as well as the few other seniors on the team, like Rowan. Senior leadership is key in keeping this club working together and organizing functions to help the team become more profitable and more noticed by the public. The 8 students of Optional Clothing group is a very new club but already demonstrates similar leadership qualities. A member of the group quoted that their main strength was leadership. Leaders in that group, as well as the regby club, are held responsible for gathering the group and bringing everyone together at events.
The members of the Croquet Club are always working together. Once a member of the club, that person will go and spread the word to all of their friends to bring in more people to play. Ben Spencer, the leader, relies heavily on Facebook, but they still do a great job of telling people that aren't members of the Facebook page when tournaments and meetings are going to be. The members know how important word of mouth is and they don't want any of their players left out of the loop or clueless about an event, so they are always talking to one another. Because the people in the Croquet Club are all such good friends, they aren't afraid to always be chatting between each other. That may be the problem with one of the bigger clubs, lack of communication and leaving people out of important messages and updates.
The Student Coalition for Immigration Rights is a new club that started last quarter with the help of their leader and president Maria. A definite asset that SCIR possesses is that it is a very specific group with a common goal. Their focus is on undocumented youth and students furthering their education. This gives the group an advantage in that students joining have specified passions and interests hopefully giving more commitment and work to this group. Another asset is that they have is an excellent president, Maria. Although she is only a freshmen, she has not only been able to form this group but also to put it to action with the workshops they have been forming and the one they have already offered. From the meeting I attended, she showed that she is extremely organized and prepared to produce the optimal influence on this world. The issues that Maria has expressed involve delegation. A strong leader is very important in a group but the president can't be the only one taking action. It is important to make sure members are contributing actual time and work towards making a difference. In the coop club that I am a member of, we have had lots of experience with this issue. In our case we decided to have a weekly note-taker at each meeting writing down who said they will do what and then posting those notes on our group website. It is very important to have a strong leader but in order to make change the leader needs help from committed individuals and in order for this to happen members need to be held accountable for their responsibilities.
The Korean Club works together very well. Unlike groups with many members this club relies on working together with the few members it has. Members and leaders of the group alike work together to set up get togethers, group meetings, and the themes discussed. There is not much to be said about the leadership since there is no clear distinction between group leaders and members or any concrete establishment of a hierarchy. Every year the group gets a fresh start as new leaders are assigned the roles of president and vice president. This is due to the fact that most members are exchange students and leave Western after a year. This way new ideas are always able to be produced. The only set back is that themes may repeat over the years as information of pervious meetings is lost.
The Western Strong Man club has had some trouble with working together in leadership. Stephanie Singer, a founding member, is the group's only active leader. She organizes and runs the entire club on her own. Because of this one of the biggest worries of the club is continuing after she graduates from WWU. Her leadership position and hard work, however, sometimes goes unnoticed because she usually works off the grid from making countless phone calls, writing emails and organizing events. The members of the club enjoy the benefits of her hard work but sometimes don't fully realize the intense time and effort that goes into maintaining such a club.
Working together allows groups to maintain strength through the weakest times and makes progress go more smoothly. Communication is key in compromise as well as leadership. A common, effective way these groups have worked together is letting everyone have some say in what is being done and showing respect for one another. Working together isn't always the best idea because sometimes you need a leader that can take control of the group and have everyone on the same page, because if everyone is just saying their ideas then how are you going to get the best ones down.
Maintaining Member Diversity[edit | edit source]
A possible barrier in recruiting more diverse members may be an issue of where and how clubs are promoting. Widening where your club promotes its events may help get more diverse members. If your club operates mainly on a school campus, talking to the administrators in charge of on-campus promotions would be an excellent first step in expanding your options for where you can advertise your club. Such administrators are not only knowledgeable of the many locations that are available for advertising on campus, but they will also be able to inform you of any specific requirements or restrictions involved in the location or content of promotional materials. Many clubs may seem by their title to be geared towards one sex only. If this is the case, it is very important to advertise the club to other sexes. Even a simple strategy such as adding footnote on promotional materials that advertises that your club is open to all genders can act as an effective first step to expanding the diversity of your club.
The most important part of any club is its members. Devin Spencer is the leader of the Croquet Club and he has made a point to allow everyone that is interested to have the opportunity to join the club. Members sign up via Facebook or simply go to the tournaments with friends that are already part of the group. It is an extremely friendly and relaxed environment. Devin explained that the club is full many different types of people from different backgrounds. He has made a lot of really good friends through his organization because there is such a wide range of different personalities. The Hui O Hawaii Club also has a good recruitment plan as well. They have a huge event at the beginning of every year aimed towards incoming freshman. Both clubs welcome anyone that is interested to join.
Diversity is a big key to having successful clubs. Swing Kids does a great job of that, there is a wide variety of ethnicities within the club. Members are excited to join the club because they know that no matter their race or beliefs they will be welcomed into the group. For example, the girl that we interviewed that participates in Swing Kids has bonded immensely with her roommate through this club. She is white while her roommate is from the Philippines so it has brought them together by a common interest when they are from two different societies. When going to this club, everyone was very enthusiastic, making it easy to feel comfortable no matter the color of your skin. I think that is what keeps this club so diverse is the attitude and openness of the leaders.
Diversity is one of the most important components within on campus clubs. It help the groups to be well rounded and well represented. For example, in the group Swing Kids, there are various culturally diverse groups represented. The girl we interviewed (Caileen) is white while her roommate is Asian. They have been able to use this common interest of theirs, to help each other bond. It is also very similar to the Tango dance club on campus. They are also very culturally diverse. And this is especially great to see considering that Tango originated from the Latino culture.
Anytime you are participating in a group or team setting you can encounter many different problems. In order to solve these problems and develop a solution that is the best for the greater good, everyone must participate in the problem solving. Diversity through out clubs is extremely important. With a diverse group you can have many people thinking in many different ways and you can develop many different solutions to choose from or incorporate. The cycling club says it is sometimes difficult to recruit diverse members however, they realize the importance.
Leadership positions[edit | edit source]
Possibly the most important aspect of any club or organization are the leaders. Obviously the members play a crucial role in the formation of the club but with no one in a leadership position, nothing would get done. We have learned through past experiences that the most effective way to form a structured group of any kind, a leader is a necessity. There can be one leader or multiple, as long as there is a designated person to take the majority of the responsibility, the club or social group should succeed. It becomes much clearer when doing research on these clubs at Western that the ones with a dedicated and focused leader have the best results.
Throughout a group there is always varying ways of how the group is lead or who is in charge. You can either have a group of people in charge or have one specific leader. Each group has to make this decision in order to succeed. With the groups at Western, I studied how the Dead Parrots society went about running their club. It seems to me that with their club and even other clubs people studied it was usually beneficial to have a specific leader because it leaves fewer people with too much power. In the Dead Parrots society Kris was the leader and he was there to help assist in ways to improve each individuals skills. He didn't take advantage and everyone in a way looked up to him for acceptance. With Creators of Visual Arts and Literature there was definitely a leader and because the club focused on individuals art work it wasn't completely necessary to have a leader. In the end the members felt a sense of comfort when they have a leader because it kept them together and focused each day. Whether each club has lots of leaders, no leaders, or one leader its definitely necessary to experience one or the other. The impact of a leader can make huge differences within each club.
The Dead Parrots also had multiple leadership positions available. As was mentioned in the last paragraph, Kris Erickson was the "leader" of the Dead Parrots. Officially he is called the Artistic Director and everything goes through him. However, they have other jobs as well. The Dead Parrots are very good at internal organization. They have one person to handle the funds, another to handle publicity and yet another to handle anything online. Each position is respected as they are voted on at the end of the year at a barbeque. The rehearsals are required, so every member attends and each leader is respected also for pulling their weight in the group. Unlike the South Asian Students Association who seemed to have difficulty getting the leaders to attend the meetings, each leader attends each rehearsal.
Like sexploration, and the stand, women in the woods, also has two great leaders which both host and plan events that take place within the club. Being the leaders of this club comes responsibility, that responsibility is to find future leaders like the sexploration club if this is not able to happen, then the lack of involvement will also decide the future of women in the woods. The difference between women in the woods, sexploration, and the stand is that women in the woods is in need to look for more than one or two leaders, the more leaders that they have the better. the club needs strong women leaders that people look up to, and will be willing to follow.
Like the other clubs mentioned, the Harry Potter Club has a couple of defined leaders, the President of this school year and the President of next school year. Both of these people lead the club very well and make all the meetings run smoothly. In order for this club to gain campus attention, the leaders have the role of putting up posters and announcing the existence of the club at the Information Fair at the beginning of each fall quarter. Like the members of the Dead Parrots Society, that was mentioned, the members of Harry Potter Club have a sense of organization and comfort because there is a leader or leaders present. This way, the m meetings are almost guaranteed to start on time and to accomplish what needs to be accomplished during that certain meeting.
What I found to be most interesting about the leadership positions among the CCF club (Campus Christian Fellowship) was the link between student leadership and full time non student leadership. In the CCF group, there are people in leadership with a link to the AS, like the president whom I interviewed and so forth. Also there are full time members of the Bellingham community who raise their own funds to work with CCF full time on staff. Furthermore, WWU students, Skagit students, and WCC students weekly contribute money to CCF. The Hillel Jewish group and found a slightly similar situation with their leadership. Although most of the leadership is from within the student body, they report to the community director about the groups issues and status. The way these leadership roles balance together leads to a really strong organization in the group. This also leads to a very strong retention of useful strategies over time.
The Tango Club, which teaches the Argentine Tango, faces similar problems as many of the above groups in finding leaders to follow in the footsteps of current leaders. Following the trend, the Tango Club has two members who are very talented, passionate, and involved with the club's material (in this case the Argentine Tango). There is a huge gap between their skill level and the other members who might be able to take over after the current leaders have graduated. From this trend it becomes obvious that a better system of leadership is needed to keep a group running in the long run. Depending heavily on just a few individuals for leadership and meanwhile not having a system for finding new leadership will lead to problems and if not effective at all. So what is an effective way to ensure the continued quality leadership of a student organization?
A good example is the Cycling Club. They have a system where they will elect a group of active officers at the end of each season. Thanks to this system the Cycling Club does not have to face the issue of unknown leadership—hence possibly even the death of a club. By trying to even out the responsibility of the leadership it becomes more reliable. However, it is not to say that this tactic would work for every club. Some clubs, such as the Tango Club, require a special amount of expertise to teach. The two current heads of that club both studied abroad in Argentina. So it is not a quick fix for them to install a system of electing new leadership because it is not guaranteed, or even likely, that other members will be at the same skill level as them and capable of teaching the class.
It seems that most of the aforementioned groups thrive in maintaining multiple leaders, which makes sense, as organizations are wholly meant to be collaborative efforts. In order for an organization (student or otherwise) to function properly and flourish, it is absolutely necessary that said group has [an] appointed administrator(s). Otherwise, the members, regardless of how intent they may be in the given activity/common interest, are liable to lose that proverbial glue which allows them to band together and perpetuate their organization. My group generally found that WSSF has become irrelevant over the past couple of years due to lack of leadership skills that the current moderator possesses. The role of leadership has been scrutinized and universally perceived as requisite, however some would argue that the leadership role is increasingly beneficial if it is divided amongst a few particularly responsible individuals, so as to avoid unnecessary burdensome responsibility. Nina Rabins points out that the given number of members in a group should directly affect how many appointed leaders there are: “After reading through my group members' responses, I found that a common deficiency was that nearly all of the administrative/organizational work is done by only one member, Stephanie, and the majority of the knowledge about bodybuilding is held by Rory. By having so much of the responsibilities for this group concentrated in these two members, it becomes difficult for all 70+ members to become actively involved in the organization.” This, I suppose, makes sense to an extent. However, the division of work should not be all too bothersome if those responsible for coordination are truly passionate about the nature of their organization.
A'capella club is facing to lose 2 members in the end of spring quarter. Matt Bell is the leader of the club also worry and concern about get new members. This club was formed by Matt since fall quarter, due to the lack to motivations from other group members it's gradually become a big issue after 3 quarters has passed by. They sure need to be concerned about the leadership roles, and the lack of constant involved members the future of A'capella club once when Matt Bell graduate is uncertain.
Sometimes, the leadership position within a club may not be obvious, but is still vital to the structure and integrity of a club. Take KUGS radio station at WWU for example. There are many different DJ positions, but not many leadership roles. What many DJ's may not realize is that each and every one plays the part of a leader, as they influence the music scene, and inspire new recruitment's to the station. These are the roles of a leader in an organization such as a radio station that keep the station a busy and live place. University radio stations are constantly struggling to replenish the graduating, more experienced DJ's, and it is up to them to find and train DJ's adequate enough to replace them. This is yet another example of upholding the leadership role. These examples may not be apparent, or written down on a contract, but they are important and necessary for the continuation of a radio station. Despite this different leadership role, there are some more traditional roles within the radio station. There are seven positions at the radio station that students can fill. They are the Program Director (decides on programming and other similar decisions), Operations Coordinator (maintains logs on the activities going on at the radio station as well as making and receiving Public Service Announcements), News and Public Affairs Director (directs the news and public affairs portions of the programming at the station), Music Director, Specialty Music Director, Maintenance Engineer (helps maintain the technology at the radio station including the music CDs), and Marketing and Development Director (directs the marketing and promotions part of the radio station). The Music Directors make sure that music comes into the station whether it is more the Music for the Masses show or for the specialty music shows during the day. A person must apply for these positions and be a DJ at the radio station.
While the low numbers and sometimes the planning is an issue, Jewish Hillel is said to have key core member which have kept the club alive for such a long time. Their strength has been the passing down of club positions to people who will stay active and promote events and new membership. These dedicated few are what keep up with the paper work each year to keep Hillel a club on Western's campus. They are also in charge of moderating the Facebook group and finding funds for the various events held each quarter.
In a lot of clubs like the biology club having more than one leader is smart. When it comes to running meetings, if the president cannot make it, its important to have a designated person to take charge. If Taylor the president of the biology club cannot make it, Anne takes the role of running the meeting as smooth as possible. A problem comes when neither of them can make it because of other work they must complete. This results in canceling of a meeting or a very unstructured meeting ran by the members alone. This is a problem that results in losing members because they don't have a leader to run their club.
Some clubs also lack leaders, which poses a large problem amongst organizations. The Associated Students club Women in the Woods has two current leaders. Yet they are both graduating this year (Spring '09 and Fall '09). This is a large issue for many clubs because leaders of their organization ultimately graduate from Western. Whether it is this year or in the years to come leadership positions have to be passed on to other members amongst the club. Without the passing of leadership positions after graduation club statuses could be lost and the legacy will be discontinued. It is very important for that leader to choose a new director with the qualities that will benefit the club and keep the fire burning. These qualities include organization, dedication and excitement for the club. Without these qualities clubs suffer and information is lost.
One of the main ordeals of being a leader is see how the club does once you leave. How will a new leader be chosen? Will they be just as ambitious as the current leader is? Will the club survive under this new leadership? These are all questions that need to be answered with a transfer of leadership. In Western Men Against Violence the leader was worried about what would happen when he left. He just filled in the role of moderator and meeting organizer after the last leader left. Currently he does not know if he should try to hand the leadership position off to someone or just let it be taken over once he leaves. One of the largest fears that small group leaders have upon them leaving is that all the work that they put into recruiting and putting on events will go to waste as the club sinks and eventually disappears. The general feeling with the other clubs that we saw is that it generally works best to let the club decide on a new leader before the current one leaves. This way the current leader will be able to impart some experience on to the new leader before the current leader leaves.
Qualities of strong Leaders[edit | edit source]
Leadership is a position that is very crucial to the success of an organization. To host a successful event, there needs to be someone in charge that can take control of a group of people and figure things out logistically in order to have a production run smoothly. People in charge that are leading a group need to possess a variety of positive attributes and qualities in order to be a strong contributor to the group or event at hand. Leadership not only helps to organize a group, but it allows those in a group look up to someone who is committed to their interests and passions. There is much more to being a good leader then just leading a group to more money or more fame, a good leader must teach their group and leave them with something more than just a shell of a group.
Leaders are both born and made. Some people have a natural instinct to step up and be in control. Others are taught that “leader” is a respected title associated with success. This positive association often makes those who aren't natural leaders want to take on a leadership role in order to reap the benefits of the high position. By taking on extra responsibilities you gain control and power and are able to gain inside knowledge from being so closely involved. The qualities that make a truly great leader are for the most part universal, although they may be applied differently depending on the exact position in a group that a leader holds. Some characteristics that strong leaders possess include knowledge about organizing meetings, enthusiasm, a positive attitude, dedication and commitment, the ability to maintain confidentiality, the ability to adapt and function in times of uncertainty, the ability to plan and goal set effectively, trustworthiness, a high character, passion, tolerance, and logic.
One last and crucial attribute of a good leader is to know when to step down to let someone else lead. A good leader understands that others in the group will have good ideas that they would want to contribute. A good leader would step down to allow the idea to be shared by the ideas owner instead of trying it to do it themselves. This allows other group members to get their say in and also to have an experience in which they lead a group.
Organizing meetings[edit | edit source]
Of all the responsibilities that a leader of a club must have, the job of organizing meetings is among the most important. There are several different kinds of meetings that clubs utilize, including meetings with administration, group meetings, meetings with community members, and many others. Each type is important. Meetings with the administration often leads to funds being allocated to the club or getting the "ok" on a campus-wide activity or permission to use a room on campus. Meetings of the group are usually weekly, bi-weekly, or at least on some sort of schedule. These type of gatherings are essential to keeping club members invested in the club as well as a way to organize events and achieve group goals. Each meeting is has a purpose, even if its purpose is just to have fun, but the key to having a successful meeting rests in the hands of a club leader and requires time, effort, dedication, passion, and organization.
A meeting can either work very efficiently or it can be a complete waste of time. More often than not this is determined by how well the meeting is organized. Organization starts with letting the other members know when and where the meeting is being held. The people or person in charge of leading and orchestrating a meeting should come up with an agenda and a list of topics prior to the meeting. This could very well be the most important part of organizing a meeting; if there is no agenda there is no way to know which direction the meeting will go. It is important to have one or multiple people taking notes during the meetings so that the group can look back later on to see what was all said if need be.
The Student- Homeless Outreach Team meets every week, and are very organized with exactly what needs to be done in order to insure their event is a success. Each member comes to the club with ideas and things they believe need to be done within the next week to insure that they are on track for the "Be Our Guest" event. The organization has lead to a mass amount of advertisement downtown as well; the club is constantly trying to find new and better ways of getting their event publicized so the community can get involved as well. Their meetings are always focused with each member contributing to the next actions the club must take in order for the word to be spread about their event.
An effective organizational strategy this club or group excels at is advertising when and where there are events like guest speakers or fundraisers. They advertise this through fliers around campus or by having members of the group stand around populated areas like red square and hand out info booklets or fliers. The ‘Student Coalition for Immigration Rights’ group puts on workshops to host information about their cause, while Students for Disability Awareness hosts guest speakers and events of that nature. Both of these groups use effective organizational strategies like clearly advertising when and where an event or fundraiser will take place. This is essential to have a clear organized strategy like spreading awareness of the group’s event so that people will know when and where to come support the group. Both groups put on an awareness week in which events, fund raising and education about their specific group or cause is established and promoted.
And if someone does something great in your club promote them, because then if people don't try. Then they won't be able to ever be a leader. Stated from Magnum Stewart the leader. In the Bully Blockers Club. Magnum is the most famous human ever!
The A'capella Club, since just recently being created in 2008, they are finding themselves in turmoil when it comes to scheduling and also some problems with leadership in that they find it difficult to manage when to schedule meetings. As college students, every member has a life outside of the club with work, homework, etc. so finding times that everyone in the club can meet is a challenge. Especially in a club that requires the participation of every member for it to work, it is important to have a steady meeting time. The best the club can do is to find out every member's daily schedule and find times that work best for the majority of the club. From there it's left up to the members to both show up and keep the leaders informed if they are not able to make it.
Another group that has exceptional organizational skill is the Dead parrots Society. As seen an interview the dead parrots say “We have an artistic director, a business director, a person to handle our money, a person to handle our online website/face book, and a person to handle our publicity”. I also found that everything is always organized and the artistic director is very good at making sure things get done and separating the work throughout the different jobs. Through looking at other groups on the discussion board I found that other groups throughout campus have acknowledged the DPS’s organizational skills. In an interview with the Homeless outreach group conducted a group member said that “What I've learned so far from observing the Dead Parrots is that they are very organized. They meet every week for open rehearsals and they have created an environment that is comfortable for newcomers. They have official rehearsals every week that are focused and they work on skills useful during performances.” This shows that even other groups are recognizing the dead parrot’s society’s ability to stay organized and it is definitely a huge asset to the group as well as to other groups looking to follow suit and be more organized as well.
As seen through the 'Student-Homeless Outreach Team,' the 'Student Coalition for Immigration Rights,' the 'A'capella Club,' and the 'Dead Parrots Society,' effective organization is essential to the success of a club. Holding club meeting allows members to discuss club fundraising, leadership, future events, and everyday club business. Effective organization for clubs has led to increased popularity and overall membership, a lowered stress among those in leadership positions due to the equal distribution of work and overall a much smoother running system. As seen in the A'capella club, issues with holding organized meeting can lead to several major problems within clubs. But with the resources and information found in this Wikibook, future clubs will be able to benefit and organize into successful efficient groups.
Enthusiasm[edit | edit source]
Enthusiasm is essential in a club or organization. Without enthusiasm very little would be accomplished; the club would not be able to recruit members because if it looks like the current members aren't interested in what they are doing. Getting members of the club enthused about the clubs activities makes it easier on the leader as well because the members of the club will be more inclined to help out with club activities. The more help a leader can get, the better it is for the club. This takes pressure off of the leaders shoulders and increases the members feelings of helping and belonging. Enthusiasm is not only important to members, it is very important that the leaders themselves be excited about what they are doing. Having a leader who is not committed fully to the cause hurts the whole organization. Enthusiasm is vital to keeping an organization going and for it to be successful.
One of the most valuable traits in the leadership of any organization is a passion, and enthusiasm for the group. Leaders should be chosen who have a passion for the actions of the club, not just for the pleasure of being part of a group. The Dead Parrot Society votes their leaders into place based on who is good at what, and who wants to do it. A member of the Dead Parrot Society, Jessica Young, pointed out that "usually it's pretty obvious [who should do what] so it's not difficult to choose the positions." This natural assumption of leadership roles contributes to the general success of this group's organization. Tom and Rosemary Read who organize the Scottish Country Dance Club, are very dedicated to carrying on this traditional style of Scottish dance. Their passion and concern for maintaining this valued tradition gives the club a welcoming feel and really allows new members to feel that they are part of a great tradition. Without a passionate leadership, any organization is unlikely to have a passionate membership; members begin to feel that there is no reason for them to care, because the leaders don't even care. Without the members passion, the organization is unlikely to last long.
It is only when the leaders of a group are passionate about the goals of a club that the other members will be able to share that enthusiasm. No matter how passionate a person is about a subject, without a leadership team who is outwardly excited and encouraging, that passion cannot come through. Campus Christian Fellowship has a diverse team not only of student leaders, but also older leaders who know more and have had more time to develop their knowledge on the focus of the group, which in one word is Jesus. One of CCF's student leaders attributes the success of CCF's ministry as a Club, to the members, who she claims are "flat out passionate for people." From being in contact with these leaders, the passion spreads throughout the community of the club, which for CCF, consists of between 300-400 people. The Students for Disability Awareness Club also must keep their people passionate through the leadership of the group because they are dealing with people's lives and the struggles they face. Their goal is to empower the people in their group about things they are passionate for and teach them the skills to be successful in addressing those things. But it is only through an enthusiastic leadership team that these goals can be achieved.
In order for a student club to be successful, there is a strong need for enthusiastic and spirited leadership. The Croquet Club has Devin Spencer who is the driving force behind organizing the events, founded the club and is the long-time president. He encourages the rest of the club to participate in the activities and brings them together. Everyone in the Croquet Club is welcoming, warm and hospitable which makes it so easy for outsiders to participate in the club's activities and encourages future members. Zoë Moore and Nathan Juarex, who studied the A'capella Club, agreed that the spirit and energy of club's is the greatest aspect. To have an effective organization everyone in the group, especially the leader, must have a passion and vigor for the club.
A successful leader of any organization must contain passion to achieve the goals that they and their group are striving for. Passion gives the leader enthusiasm and motivation they need to keep the club going. In Photography Club, the enthusiasm for photography is what brings the leaders and the club members together each week. Even though they have a small amount of people attending the meetings, the leaders do not let that hinder the amount of fun they have with the few committed members who share the same interests as they do. Without a devoted and excited leader, it would be difficult to maintain a consistent group of people to attend the meetings. The Dead Parrot Society understands the importance of a passionate leader because they vote in the leader who they see best fits the position. Therefore they can choose a person in the group that has the natural zest a leader must contain in order to make the group successful. If the leader is not passionate at what they are doing then most likely the members of the club will lose interest because they are not enjoying themselves. That is why enthusiasm and passion in a leader is crucial to a club's existence.
Just like in the Photography Club, the Croquet club's main reason for success is the enthusiasm that all of the members and leaders have for the game. The members of the club are so enthused that many dress up for the tournaments based on what the theme of each tournament. The enthusiasm of the group needs to start with the president and the Croquet Club's president does a great job of getting everyone excited for all of the croquet tourneys. If the leader of the club is not enthused then it would be very hard for the members to become enthused, thus destroying the whole mood of the tournaments. Without enthusiasm there is a very little chance that the club will be able to stick together and succeed in the long run.
In most clubs and organizations an enthusiastic leader is the key for success. However, in the Harry Potter club, not only are the leaders very passionate about their organization, the members are as well. When they plan events, they make sure it is something all of the members along with any guests will be interested in, thus creating enthusiasm throughout. For example, we were able to observe Jeopardy night, where all of the questions were from a certain Harry Potter book. All of the members decided together to have this event, so no one would feel left out and it would be something they all would enjoy. The way the Harry Potter club is run causes enthusiasm without much effort. They all love the subject of their club with a passion, and they all are able to agree on events or activities in which they are excited for.
Enthusiasm thrives from inspiration. AS Pop music needs a lot of it in order to reach out to the whole community. Without a certain amount of enthusiasm or inspiration, success will not fall into their path. One of the biggest challenges AS Pop music runs into is training all the new-comers from the summer and eventually hitting something called "the Wall." The Wall is mental road block where thinking of greater ideas no longer occur. They get through this by being positive and keeping each other inspired. When a group lacks enthusiasm, the best outcome does not show and strength is weakened. The submarine team lacks this enthusiasm with building their sub for the next race. Half their sub is built, letting them slack off, resulting attitude that does not give much hope for this sub. Enthusiasm, attitude and hope are some things that help keep a group organized and very alive.
In the Croquet Club, enthusiasm is probably their best quality. On the day of the Alice in Wonderland tournament it was raining out, and it seemed that there were not really any new members in attendance. Honestly, I would not have been surprised if the group would have decided to just reschedule the tournament to a later date. But, not only did the Croquet Club decide to go on with the tournament anyways, they were still really excited about it. This definitely surprised me, as I do not think most clubs would have made this same decision. This is what keeps their club from falling apart or not happening. The Cycling Club also seems to share this passion. The Cycling Club seems to be under similar circumstances, as their club is pretty small, but the people that are members are die hard cyclists. This is important, because as long as there is a small group of people are dedicated to a club it is will stay together, and maintain a strong foundation even as it may grow.
For Hillel, the way we organize events is a very modern way to organize events. Besides going out and gathering all the items necessary for the events such as food, arts and crafts or activities, we advertise our events on Facebook. Hillel has created a Facebook group to explain and advertise our events. Before each quarter, the board meets to plan all events. We sit down with a master calendar and plan out all our Tuesday night events and our Shabbat and special events. Next year we will be adding more to our calendar, adding in Thursday and Friday night events. After the events have been put on the calendar, we plan what items we would like at the events including food and activities. Some of the events include movie nights and arts and craft night. Hillel has a very organized way of organizing the events.
Without enthusiasm and genuine passion for the cause or activity a club has little chance of survival. As you can see from the entries above enthusiasm plays a crucial role in the success of clubs across Western Washington University's campus. Enthusiasm and excitement is the driving force behind getting a club off the ground and without it no organization will ever get off the ground because enthusiasm is the fuel for the determination and hard work required to turn an idea into a reality.
With some clubs, like the South Asian Student Association, enthusiasm is one of the few things holding the group together. When the leaders remain determined and enthusiastic about their groups it becomes easier for the current members to remain strong and passionate. If there are any issues with membership or anything else with the club then a strong and enthusiastic leader can help pull the club through the rough patches. Enthusiasm can help do this because it helps show the members that it is still a functioning group. If the members believe that any problem is a little problem, then they will feel more confident of the groups success and that in its self will help the group succeed.
Attitude[edit | edit source]
Effective leaders must have an optimistic attitude when running their club. People tend to feed off of other's attitude. If people see the person who is in charge very excited about the club and its intentions, that will naturally draw people in. Even if the club is struggling at the moment or enduring a hardship, the captains/presidents/co-presidents/coordinators must be optimistic about getting past the hard time, or else it will be difficult for the members to also. If the leaders of the club have a pessimistic attitude, then it will influence the attitudes of their members negatively, and the club will not survive. Having an optimistic attitude shows the members that their leader believes in the club's success and its members' success. It also makes recruiting more successful because it shows the potential members that the club and its leaders have something beneficial to offer. Having a negative attitude will automatically cause people do not want to attend because students in college already have a challenging time balancing attendance and academics. Along with holding a positive attitude for the goals of the group and its members, it is also important that the leader is very willing to work with and as a team. Oftentimes, the leader takes on too much responsibility and acts more as a dictator than a leader and it is important for that not to transpire. The leader cannot have a 'boss' attitude otherwise nothing will be accomplished and the club members will feel intimidated and inferior. Overall, it is important to keep in mind what kind of attitude not only your leaders give off, but also your club.
Although one's attitude is very crucial, I disagree with the fact that an optimistic attitude is the best one. Sure, being optimistic is very helpful at times, especially when thinking about the goals the group wants to achieve or looking at the overall picture, but I think that being overly optimistic is often where groups can fail. When it comes down to the technical stuff like money and time and scheduling, these are the times when group leaders and participants need to crack down and be realistic without setting their standards too high. Being realistic does not necessarily mean negative, I just think it is a much more beneficial technique to approach the group with. Many time if a group is to positive they might miss on what they have to improve on or make changes in the communication within the group.
Even though the Rugby Club has a difficult time keeping their members for long periods of time, their attitude toward this sport and club is what carries them on to make Rugby noticeable even more. This club is very team oriented is always looking for new recruits. Friendships are made between the teammates, and that shouldn't stop others from joining in because the Rugby team offers a friendly attitude too towards the recruitment of any and all new players. Their attitude towards the future of this sport is positive seeing as in an interview with one of their members said, “We think that rugby is a sport that is building on a successful club based on commitment and success. And we are determined to see more players in the fall”. This year especially has turned around for them, in regards to new recruits. Overall, the Rugby Club’s attitude towards this club is strong and they are not going to give up when keeping new members fail. They are committed to make this club successful and also to make it better known. Another club such as the Making Western Diverse club also has the strong outlook that next year and the years to come will have an increase in new members. These attitudes can be the direct result in the success of clubs.
Another example is that even though the photography club had very few people attend the meetings every Monday, all members still have a positive attitude. It takes a special kind of person to keep up the enthusiasm and passion for the club even when numbers are small and money is low. The leaders of the Photography club were able to stay positive and keep it enjoyable for the rest of the members. This clearly shows how attitude is one of the most important things that keep a club alive. Devin Spencer is the leader of the Croquet Club and he tries very hard to make sure everyone has a good attitude. Sometimes tempers will flare when they have a heated game of Croquet but if it gets too out of control he always asks the members of the club to apologize and say something nice about each other. This keeps everyone happy. The club is a new club that just got brought back to Western Washington University. So it is up to the leaders to try and keep it going and to get more people involved. I think they know that they have to stay positive and have a great attitude in order to do so. Attitude is a very important issue, especially in a club like environment. Negative attitudes could bring the group down and ruin it, but with positive attitudes the club is able to proceed forward and hopefully improve problems later on in the future. Another club that has a leader with a great attitude is the croquet club, because they are short on supplies but the leader keeps positive and they try to work and do the best that they can.
Even though the Harry Potter Club only has a few members like the Photography Club, everyone there still has a great attitude. The leaders of the club all do there best to make the club fun and enjoyable, which then causes the members to be happy and they continue to come to the meetings. It is always hard to keep a good attitude when your club is small. The Harry Potter Club is no stranger to this. Following its first year dropped from around 30 members to about 10 to 15, a very easy situation to have sour attitudes that could cause the club to fall apart completely. However CCF has up to 400 students who attend which is why they have a staff to plan for Friday nights and all of the other events. Most western students would not be able to find the time to plan for 400 people every week. But despite that, they all still have a very positive attitude about the club, which helps keep it together. Like the Rugby Club, they are very team oriented in the sense that the leaders care what everyone is thinking. Leaders want and encourage members to express there opinions about what they want to do at upcoming meetings. Harry Potter is also always looking for new members, like most other clubs on campus. Their main goal is to just have a fun time.
For most of groups to survive on campus they're in need for more funding. That led all these group members either to create a showcase, art gallery or producing CDs as part of the fund raise. These groups have to be exposure more in public for other WWU students to recognize them. Without knowing their talent it is hard for others to join them either financially or even people have the same interest. By compare with the Visual Art and Literature Society they are facing the same financial problem as the A’capella club on WWU campus. The lack of motivation need to be more active in actions to create fund raises. Every club were created as a group of people with common interest, but not every will be able to survive in the end. Therefore they need a leader to motivate other group members, but if the leader is not spending his or her time on their group then there isn't much to talk about it. As the leader of A’capella club, Matt Bell ha contributes hours and hours to practice with others and also looking for all chances to perform as much as they could.
Dedication[edit | edit source]
Dedication is very important for any club member including club leaders. If you are going to commit to being in a club you need dedication to participate in events, outings, fundraising, and advertising. If you are a leader you need to be dedicated to plan events and show up for your fellow members. For the women in the woods group although membership is small when meetings are planned they depend on the leaders to be there and take them through the planned event. If you show a lot of dedication as a member you could one day become a leader for a group and show the new members how hard work and dedication paid off.
What seems to be the driving success of a lot of organizations is a group of dedicated people. When you attend the Student Homeless Outreach Team’s meetings, and read their interview transcripts it is clear how passionate all of the members are. They are putting a lot of time and effort into their ‘Be Our Guest’ event, because they truly believe in what they are doing. There are a few other clubs that claim to have some passionate members. An interviewer of the Strong Men’s club said, “I believe that their success here is due to the passion that they show”. It seems apparent that passion and dedication are what make the strongest clubs. Other groups, such as the A’capella group say, “it's important to us to keep our passion going and share it with others”. Many groups are full of members that are not just in their club for their own enjoyment, but to share what they are doing with others. From the SASA interviews it seems that their club is struggling a little but is holding on thanks to “a few dedicated members”. When clubs can increase their foundation of dedicated members it will increase their success.
Sexploration's creators are highly dedicated to the continuation and success of their brainchild. Created nearly four years ago, Sexploration has advanced as a direct result of its leaders. Sexploration reportedly started as a small group of girlfriends eating ice-cream and discussing sex on leader Grace's bedroom floor. Because of her dedication she was able to create a wonderful safe space for Western students to discuss sex. She plans to continue (and hopefully expand) Sexploration upon graduation; thanks to a huge amount of dedication, Sexploration has been made available to all students at Western.
The leaders of the Tango Club are very experienced and dedicated to the art of the Argentinean Tango. They both studied abroad in Argentina and said that they danced almost every night, spending long hours in learning the Argentinean Tango while they were there. They said that they're no experts on the dance but feel confident in teaching it to other students to inspire them to learn more and possibly travel to Argentina one day. They want to instill their dedication onto their group members because it is hard work and takes time to become skilled in the dance. They always welcome new people to their meetings and this keeps their enthusiasm up because they are teaching new people to dance every week. They want their members to have the basics of the dance down first which is mainly what they teach at the meetings to inexperienced dancers. The leaders of Swing Kids are also very similar to the Tango Club leaders because they also have to be dedicated enough to make sure they teach their members the dance from their own experience.
Some organizational strategies are not always having dedication because if a club demands too much time it will eventually lead to being stressful. The needs of the biology club included an officers duties being a little time consuming. Some of the members cannot make it to all the meetings. This is more of a laid back club. The members come and go as they please because it is just a casual thing so its lacking on the organization. Yet this is not neccrssary a bad thing because although the dedication is not there the passion for learning is. This is in the end what keeps the club going. Women in the woods club suffers also from members coming and going as they please and not taking the club seriously, yet it was said that the club is very important to the members.
Dedication is an important aspect of the Harry Potter club because they do not have a high enrollment. Dedication is what makes it possible for them to put on and attend events. They spend their time and effort working extra hard. Without the dedication of the members school, homework, and other activities would take priority over their club. It is purely dedication that keeps them together and active as an AS Club.
The homeless outreach team only has four members but each one is incredibly passionate about the social issues, seeing communication between groups of people, and empowering students to break down walls, that prevent communication. There is a lot of work that goes into the Be Our Guest event each quarter. If the members are passionate, they are equally dedicated. Each member is assigned a task to be completed by the next week in order for the event to be a success; tasks such as, designing a shirt, space reservation for tabling, publicity on campus, publicity downtown, getting students and guests to sign up, going to the AS for funding, and security. Another club I saw with a similar dedication was the disabilities awareness club. This club is also new, but stepped up to fill an entire week of events and recruited 60 volunteers to accomplish this. This club shows great promise just as the homeless outreach team does, both driven with their passion for what they are working towards. Dedication from club members is a powerful tool that can be used in lots of areas such as fundraising, recruitment, and events.
Western Men Against Violence (WMAV) is able to create an open environment for students to talk openly about sensitive issues and they encourage group members to be committed role models of the club’s values to others in the community. This is similar to the bodybuilding club in the WWU Rec Center. In an interview with a young bodybuilder, David McDonald, Laura Heydrich uncovered that David “was asked to join the club because some body builders saw my strong work ethic.” Now he feels that he is “inspirational and someone to look up to because [he's] so young.” The WMAV has similar group members who join the club as freshman and promote the values as role models in the community. David also said that his club is dedicated to being “a supportive group that teaches others how to lift weight properly and reach goals.” In this way, the bodybuilding club has created an open environment for people to learn new things about lifting. It's good to see that other clubs are taking the time to create an inviting atmosphere like the one found in WMAV meetings.
STAND does not have a leadership voting system within their club, just like in the club Men Against Violence, Cameron who is just a facilitator of the club for three years believes that when he graduates and leaves the club they will have someone fill in the position as needed. He is not too worried about a president position because all their members are strong and dedicated. STAND is similar in this way “We do not have a president; the club was co founded by two anthropology majors in the fall of 2006- Kathryn Young who is the advisor, and Karena Rounsaville who is the main contact for questions or issues. Our club shares ideas among everyone.” Both clubs have few, but very passionate and dedicated members and both rely on strong members to step up in the following years.
SRE (Students for Sustainable Energy)
The clubs members are incredibly dedicated to the cause. Even though the club was not able to reserve a room for this year, 2008–09, they still meet every week. Not every project that the members work on get approved by the Western Washington University Administration, however, they keep moving forward. They are aware of the way the administration works and the hard work that is takes to get projects approved. For example, most of the projects involve research, detailed proposals, and working with people outside of the club. Their passion is evident. Another group that shows passion for their work is the club, "Be Our Guest," which is essential for the type of work that both club do.
Maintaining Confidentiality[edit | edit source]
We strive to feel safe, confident, and relaxed in our everyday lives. So in order for members of an organization to feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, experiences, and stories a safe environment is necessary. Confidentiality is essential for a student organization to be effective. The club is a way to meet people that share the same interests as you so do not stray away because of being uncomfortable, the clubs are welcoming.
When asked about one of Sexploration’s greatest strengths, the club coordinator responded with the clubs confidentiality. Because Sexploration discusses topics on sex, it is very important that the members feel comfortable and therefore feel that what they share at meetings will be kept secret. Sexploration’s effective strategies in keeping their members secrets confidential include not giving out any names of their members. Also, they encourage everyone at the meeting to speak as well as participating themselves because the more members that speak up the more comfortable other members will be to tell their secrets. I found this pattern as well during another interview conducted with Sexploration’s co-coordinator. The co-coordinator was sure to not let out any member information. She also said that the club leader’s main job is to begin dialog and make their meetings and events feel like a safe place to tell their stories. As for other AS clubs, not many seemed focused on confidentiality being an important strength or an important thing to improve on.
Adaptability[edit | edit source]
If you want a lot of people to join your club, it is important that the group and leaders can adapt. Whether it is adapting to a time to meet or altering club goals and events, it is important to be flexible so everyone in the group has a say in what the club does. As time goes on everything changes and evolves including clubs so when leaders recognize this, it allows their clubs to grow and expand. By taking in new ideas and making small changes everyone will feel involved in the group and make your club more efficient in general. And besides it is a club, so people should be open to new ideas because who knows, they could be better than the old ones.
A great aspect of leadership along with the others listed is adaptability. Leaders should incorporate being flexible within their strategies because as students graduate and take their experience with them. It is essential for the remaining and new leadership to embrace the change and be able to adapt to the new changes. Campus Christian Fellowship has established a strong leadership community. This community has allowed it to keep CCF running over the years and has worked hard to overcome past obstacles. A member of the staff said that flexibility and adaptability were aspects of the staff that allowed it to run smoothly and effectively. He said that the CCF staff was able to accept change and change for the better, whether it was regarding a new idea or a new staff member. For example, the meetings had a democratic system and he explained their approach as coming into meetings with their ideas as pens on the back of their hands instead of clutched in their palms. Thus, each member of the leadership team comes prepared to change their ideas and accept new challenges and ideas. Members of the other organizations such as Hui o Hawaii Club expressed frustration pertaining to leadership. A member stated, “It's kind of whoever is brave enough to take it on. We try really hard to get people involved who are juniors and sophomores so they can have some experiences for the next year, but our club is kind of relaxed so it's just whoever has the initiative to do it. The hard part was in years past one person did most of it, and when she left she didn't give us much direction so we kind of had to remake the club. But we’re in the process of getting more organized. Next year should be better.” The response shows how there are still issues with establishing key leaders within the club and when those leaders are found it is hard to replace them. It seems that the leadership of CCF has learned to deal with change and these types of changes because adaptability is a key part in their approach to running the organization. It is important to try and make the best of the situation even if that means changing and adapting a new way of operating.
Goal Setting and Planning[edit | edit source]
It is important for a group to create different goals to achieve. Goals are what unite a group and provide something for everyone in that group to strive towards. Groups that succeed in achieving substantive goals first collaborate in defining those goals as well as the method they will use to achieve them. A club flows better when all its members are in agreement with the set goals, so planning them out as an entire group is crucial. Effective leaders must be role models for the rest of the organization but also balance their responsibilities by delegating responsibilities to others.
However, setting goals is only the first step. Any club can set a goal but it is planning out ways to achieve that goal and ultimately completing it that is of importance. For example, a club could decide that their goal for the year is to put on 3 big events for the year. The fact that they are setting a goal is great. However, what they do with that goal after they set it that is what's important. They would need to make a list of what events they want to put on and set dates and assign group members to certain tasks regarding each event. They would need to set deadlines so that each step will be met and each group member will have completed their specific task. By the end of the year they will have met their goal. Conclusively, goals are important for groups but following through with them is even more important.
Leadership Positions[edit | edit source]
Leadership positions are important for any organization to be effective. However, there are a variety of ways in which leadership positions are filled as well as a myriad of types of people that may fill those leadership positions. A leader is not only limited to the main person in charge but everyone in the club has their role as a leader whether it be by organizing the group, keeping the group motivated or just being a dedicated member. The AS clubs would not be able to run without leadership from its appointed officers but also the members of the club as well. To become a successful club everyone involved must do their part to contribute to the growth of the club.
Three main types of leadership strategies are used by these student organizations, having a single strong leader, having a hierarchy of several leaders potentially tied to the civic or university community or having decentralized leadership where all or much the membership shares leadership tasks. Each student organization is unique in what requirements they have for their leader(s) as well as the expectations of the role the leader(s) are expected to lead.
Types of Leadership Positions[edit | edit source]
One of the WWU Cycling clubs greatest qualities is their well defined leadership system. Within the interview we conducted with two of the leaders of the club they said, “We have a very active group of officers (President, VP, Treasurer, and Asst. Treasurer) that we elect at the end of the race season.” A well organized system of electing people for certain leadership positions within a club insures that the club will have people who know what they are doing and are in the best interest of the club. The leaders this year are working on some other issues the club has had in the past such as, “working to get a better relationship with WWU.” I found that a well defined selection process for clubs and effective leadership is really what makes a club run smoothly. In the Dead Parrots Society, Kyle Blodgett reported that , “The interview transcripts also indicate that the DPS has a relatively natural leadership system.” Another club that showed strong leadership was FAFSA and Geraldine Massengale reported that. “I believe leadership only gets better every year. The need for leadership in FASA is essential because of the amount of members we obtain every year.” Strong leadership looks like it is a very essential part of having an effective and lasting club.
Some groups, such as the Students Against Civilization, are able to function with little to no leadership. They structure their meetings in a way that is probably unique only to them. Their meetings consist mainly of discussion coming from each of the groups members. The only leadership that is conducted is at the beginning, where one of the two members who formed the group writes the definition of civilization up on a chalkboard and reads an article that they have chosen as a discussion starter. From there, ideas get bounced off members and different concepts of civilization and the world we live in today are spoken in a healthy environment. This brings the dialogue down to a personal level, where each member can relate to what is being said.
Stephanie is the leader of the WWU Body Building club. She created the Facebook group, hosted the Stongman competition and planned various other activities. Although Stephanie puts the most effort into keeping the club running, Alex, David and Rory set the standards for aspiring body builders. The three are always in the weight room ready to answer questions one may have. Together, the four leaders are well representatives of the WWU Body Building club. Thanks to these leaders the group is unified and function well despite their lack of regular meetings.
Besides the more common leaderships in clubs (ex. president, vice-president, and secretary), clubs, such as Voices for Planned Parenthood (VOX), may only have one main leader within the club. In the case of VOX, they have one organizer for the entire club. The other members are all equal in terms of leadership. This position is called Coordinator. The Coordinator is a student and an employee of Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood also provides many of the physical materials, etc. The person in this position is actually hired and serves as a link between the club and the organization in order to fill in both sides on the needs and requirements of both groups. It allows for VOX to be well supported monetarily and otherwise. Sometimes people from the organization go to club meetings and help out. According to my interview because of being aligned with an organization and an immediate point of contact with the organization, they have to worry less about fundraising and have more time for event planning. Other clubs on campus, such as the World Justice Awareness club, also has outside support but not as much. Since the VOX is funded and has an employee who is part of the club, there is also no need for a position such as treasurer that other clubs, such as the Dead Parrot Society, need.
Another organization that doesn't have the common leadership positions is CCF (Campus Christian Fellowship). In this organization they have campus pastors, interns, and core facilitators (corefas). Campus Pastors are the head leaders, along with the interns that help them accomplish the many tasks and events that they run for the current members and to reach out to others. Core facilitators are members that lead small groups. They are a key part to recruiting members, but overall bringing people to Jesus. They lead cores, which make CCF a more personal club for people to grow in their relationship with God and with other members. This club is one that needs many leaders, not just a few in order to better accomplish their goals and grow as an organization.
Like many other clubs on campus, the Harry Potter club has the traditional leaders. They have a president (which they call the "Minister of Magic"), officers ("house prefects"), and a treasurer. The incoming Minister of Magic is the current treasurer, events coordinator, and Hufflepuff prefect. He was nominated to be Minister of Magic, and voted in by the rest of the club. Since membership is on the low side, members often are asked to take on more than one role, something they have no problem doing since it will keep the club running. The other members in the club are asked for their input and it is valued, something that keeps them coming back each week.
Length of Leadership Positions[edit | edit source]
Leadership positions shouldn't be held by one person for too long. It is necessary for each position to have someone different about every year so that the club doesn't fail because people don't know how to run positions held by students that have left. It is also important for the current position holder to train the new position holder in all the tasks of that position. If positions are held for too long, then there is a big chance for there to be not enough innovation in the club and no new ideas. Although one student shouldn't hold the same position two years in a row, it would be a good idea for the student to choose another position so that there is someone with a years' experience within the leadership group.
In the case of some clubs, length of leadership positions can pose a problem. In smaller clubs like Women in the Woods, there are only two leaders who will shortly be graduating, and once they have left the club there is no one lined up to fill in for them. Because of this it is important for current leaders to help make a system for the extension of the club's sake because without a leader a club will fall apart. It is important for each club to have a leader, and it is important for that leader to know the length of their leadership and be able to have someone follow up when it is their time to step down. It is important for a leader to not have their position for too long, but it is also important for leadership to continue after the original leaders are through.
Like previously mentioned, the length of leadership positions should be monitored as to avoid domination of the club by one or a few certain individuals. However, in some situations, clubs are growing each year and more leadership positions are required to sustain the growing numbers. An example of this is seen in CCF. Each year the membership count for this club increases and the need for small group leaders, also known as Core Facilitators, in dorms increases as well. In this club, many Core Facilitators only tend to hold their position for one school year, but they are currently being encouraged to remain in this leadership position for at least two years, sometimes even three. The intent of these prolonged leadership positions is to provide a more in-depth experience for the Facilitator and give new Facilitators the chance to work with and learn from the more experienced leaders.
Passing Down Information and Tasks to New Leaders[edit | edit source]
In order to completely understand the effectiveness the that a club has on the community a deeper observation will need to take place with the club itself. I believe that in order to fully understand what a club has to offer, one must participate in the club and actively take part in the events. This participant observation will allow for a more thorough analysis of what is really taking place; as well as seeing how their hard work and organization throughout the quarter is coming together. By having potential new leaders observe the clubs organization and goals, information and the overall tasks of the club can effectively be passed down. We, as observers, should continue to monitor the success of the clubs and note how their planning is helping or hindering the publicity of the club. New leaders should step back from time to time and allow themselves to observe what is working and what is not for the club. Other questions can also be addressed to the club members about what has worked in the past and what has not. By asking specific questions about the organization of the club we can acquire a more detailed insight into whether or not their organization and leadership are truly effective in the overall performance of the club. With this new acquired insight information from previous years can help new leaders build a stronger and more effective club, while at the same time maintaining the original goals the club established.
Information regarding the club, organization and development of club protocol is important in order to maintain consistency in club effectiveness. One effective means of creating this consistency is through the development of a club binder. The club binder should be similar to a scrapbook, and also contain information regarding set up and development of club activities. The Students for Disabilities Awareness club has an effective strategy in regards to the club binder. A binder has been developed that contains names and phone numbers of past and present members, information about specific club events, and details regarding funding and monetary information.
One of the biggest problems that can arise in the area of club leadership is when a club runs into a situation where a large majority of their club officers end up graduating within a single year. Situations such as this lead to more than just a few problems as the club will then have to transition to a completely new set of leaders the next year. Luckily, there exist a few very effective strategies that will help ease the difficulties of the changeover. The first strategy was not found through formal interviews, but in casual conversation with a couple of senior club members from the Ritmo Salsa club. Apparently, the more senior club members have gained enough knowledge and experience about how the club is run to act as unofficial sub-leaders. With this strong, broad framework of leadership, the club, which is facing the graduation of both of its presidents this year, should have no problem with a change in leadership as the senior members seem more than capable of stepping forward to aid the new presidents in running the club.
Looking into the interviews of other people researching the topic of club leadership a quote from an interview with a member of the Associated Students Productions club seemed to highlight the importance of having a strong framework of individual leadership. According to the interview, “[the Associated Students Productions] have a hard time trying to find people to step up and take charge of certain events and have them stick to it”. Since the Salsa club has strong support from its senior club members to help run the club underneath the presidents, the group doesn't seem to experience many problems with people dropping the ball or failing to pick up the slack. This same focus on student leadership outside of the leadership provided by the club officials can also be seen in the Campus Christian Fellowship. The president of the Campus Christian Fellowship addressed this topic in an interview, saying, “the leadership body of CCF is made up of full time missionaries to make every effort to incorporate student leadership”. From personal observation as a former member of this club, I can attest that the emphasis on leadership from regular club members is part of what makes a large club like CCF so successful in executing its day-to-day activities and ensuring attendance to its events. When clubs such as these, who possess well-organized frameworks of leadership, transition between club officials the impact of the change in government is dramatically reduced because these clubs are not solely reliant on the management provided by a few key leaders in order to operate effectively.
Another very effective strategy for dealing with the loss of key club officials is to have more than one official of that office at any given time. The reason why it might be an asset to have at least two club leaders was found in an interview with the LEAD club. When asking about the protocol for selecting new leaders for the club, it was explained that, “each director [of the club] serves for two years. When a new one comes in, it is always on the second year of the veteran director so that someone familiar with the system can train the next wave”. An asset of having two different leaders in a club is that it can lead to this effective staggering method of leadership, which can considerably ease the burden of transferring leadership from one year to the next. Granted, the newer leader would have to be someone who is not the same grade as the older leader, which can possibly lead to issues based on choosing who can be eligible for leadership based on grade rather than skill. Other than that, though, the method of having more than one club leader seems to generally be an asset for clubs.
Passing down leadership has also been an issue with the Western Washington University club Women in the Woods. The two women that are leading the club this year were both appointed the club leaders in an impromptu manner. They were not elected or chosen to be a leader; they just simply took over the leader position wholeheartedly. Now that they are both seniors and graduating this year, they have recognized that passing the torch to another member of Women in the Woods has proven to be a difficult task. Currently they have been observing younger women in the club that have the qualities of a leader. They seek a leader with a great interest in being active outdoors and furthering the Women in the Woods legacy. While Women in the Woods will definitely have a new leader next year the passing of leadership to another member is a difficult task because they want to maintain a large amount of membership with women at Western that are interested in being outdoors. With the exit of the current club leaders Women in the Woods aspires to choose new leaders with the high amount of enthusiasm that they do now. They also hope to pass down the successes that they have had as leaders of Women in the Woods so that the club will continue at WWU.
Distributing Responsibilities and Jobs[edit | edit source]
One trait that will ensure a club’s success is its ability to delegate leadership. This not only promotes efficiency in the club, but also keeps members interested in the success and current happenings of the club. “We have found that by trying to focus on getting leadership positions filled, and keeping projects that pertain to each individual’s interest, we are able to keep people interested in staying with the club,” stated vice president of the Students for Renewable Energy club (SRE). The current leadership of SRE attributes the fact that they have the club broken into committees (solar, education, conservation, and wind) as being one of the major reasons why the club has been able to accomplish as much as it has over the past six years. The current vice president of SRE stated, “We went from one meeting each week, to dividing up the members into committees that met at different times throughout the week. This made it so that people had leadership and investment in the club. This allows for members to break up into different committees for which ever projects they are interested in.” It is this act of breaking the club into smaller interest groups that allows for members to feel personally involved in the club. Numerous other clubs, such as Harry Potter Club and Campus Christian Fellowship (CCF), also utilize delegated leadership to better run their club and maintain interest in the club. One anthropology student observed that in Harry Potter Club, “Although the president can get meeting events organized in the beginning, everyone has a hand in leading the club. Opinions are openly expressed and everyone has the club’s best interests in mind.” This was also expressed by an anthropology student who observed CCF, “One more thing that is strength to CCF is the small group divisions called Core. What this does is help students get closer together as friends since CCF is such a large organization.” Regardless of the goals of the club or organization, it is helpful to delegate leadership and break larger groups into smaller groups. This not only allows for each individual to feel a personal commitment to the club, but can allow for more efficient meetings and completion of projects.
KUGS is very organized. Each member of their team has specific tasks that they carry out and certain positions they hold. Being in a leadership position at KUGS holds many responsibilities, but they are very clearly defined for each individual. The KUGS team works together very efficiently to complete their goals, and this is due to each person contributing exactly what is asked and expected of them. It is also helpful to them that one member also puts out a daily schedule, which helps them to stay on track. A daily schedule is a great idea, because completing daily goals and tasks is easier to manage at the station since there is always so much going on.
One of the strengths that the Student Homeless Outreach Team has is its leadership. The group is currently led by Anna. Though Anna is considered the President or leader of the club, the club runs more like a collaboration much like how the Harry Potter Club is run. Each group member is given a task to accomplish during the week after each meeting and to report the progress of their task at the next meeting. Joe said during his interview that this way works well. If the group did increase back up to the original number of 12, this method would still work.
Sharing Leadership[edit | edit source]
In situations involving groups, the role of a leader is often shared between members of the group. With effective leaders, this can greatly reduce the amount of work each leader does. There are groups that share leadership equally and there are those that have a type of hierarchy of power over the group. Both of these types can be effective depending on the type of club and how you organize it. The leaders must also make sure that once they step down from that position, that it will be filled the following year by someone who is capable and knows the inner workings of the club. This is often someone who has been attending the club regularly, and has an interest in becoming a leader
An important part of working with a group of people, is providing the most effective mode of leadership possible. In many cases this involves sharing the power of leadership amongst other members of the group. In the A'capella club, Matt Bell discussed in an interview that though he is considered the leader of the group, the power is shared fairly equally among the members." Well, as far as the men's group goes, I lead rehearsal and choose music, Ben and Chris have done most of the arranging that has been done, and Chris heads up the business side. But we always discuss everything as a group before it becomes definite"-Matt Bell. There are no set offices in the group yet, but this informal democratic ruling appears to work most effectively for them. However, the Dead Parrots Society does have running officers that change from year to year and this system works extremely efficiently for them. So in conclusion it really depends on the type of club and scenario that depicts the most ideal club leadership. But in any case, the leadership roles must be shared to be successful.
One way to keep a club going through time is to ensure that when one president leaves that the person that steps up to take their place is fully prepared. One way to ensure this is to share leadership between members. One club that does this very efficiently is Ritmo Salsa. The way the club meetings are designed actually promotes this idea of shared leadership. At meetings, the club members separate into a three-tiered system consisting of beginners, intermediate, and advanced dancers. Each tier then, has its own individual leaders. The leader of the beginner tier is the person that I interviewed, Rose Brockmeyer. She thinks the separation of the skills is great for the club because it ensures that each person in the group gets more attention than they would if the entire club learned together. There is two leaders to each group, and the co-presidents of the club are the leaders of the advanced group. By letting other members in the club teach in the beginning and intermediate groups, it ensures that there is always somebody that has teaching experience in the club. Though this is not exactly the same as A'capella club, the ideas are similar. Both clubs share power between the members, which ensures that the club will not fail if one of those people leaves because there is other people with experience to take their place. I would compare the two co-presidents, Rachel and Sarah, to Ben and Chris, who chose the arrangements for the club and then allow the club to figure out how they are going to run them. Rachel and Sarah teach the moves that the members should know and give helpful tips to guide, but they allow members to choose how they wish to perform. This makes everybody feel like they have more power and more influence because they have total control over all of their routines. Sharing power is a very effective strategy that many successful clubs implement. This is similar to the Photography Club. Carmen Daneshmandi, the current leader of the club, not only had her position passed on to her from an older student, as a freshman, she had relatively little experience with the club. This is where the current, older members of the club came into the picture so to speak, to offer advice and help her lead. Carmen feels not like a leader, but an organizer and point person for the club. She no doubt will hone her skill very quickly and be an excellent leader.
List of Student Organizations Mentioned in This Book
Please organize alphabetically.
A'capella Club[edit | edit source]
Recently established in AS clubs, A'capella club is open to all men to audition for the performing group. With music not restricted to just classical, A'capella club incorporates previously published material along with club members own arrangements. It is a place for the student vocal artists of Western Campus to expand their experiences within the musical realm. Women and men are welcome to join a more casual club similar to A'capella, but as of late, only men are part of the A'capella club ensemble. Leadership varies year to year, so for contact information, please see the AS clubs website.
Against Civilization[edit | edit source]
Against Civilization is a newly formed group who believes the institution of civilization, with its cities, agriculture, and technology, is the basis of the most destructive cultures. You can find a more in-depth explanation and contact information at http://www.as.wwu.edu/clubs/categorical/?type=ENV
AS Productions[edit | edit source]
The goal of AS Productions is to provide effective and diverse programming to the greater Western Community. http://www.asp.as.wwu.edu
Campus Christian Fellowship[edit | edit source]
Campus Christian Fellowship is a place where students can praise and worship God, learn about His love and Word, and fellowship with other students. Visit their website at http://www.ccfministry.com.
Chabad Jewish[edit | edit source]
Chabad at WWU is a home-away-from home for Jewish students at Western Washington University and the surrounding colleges. Chabad serves the needs of students on a social, educational and spiritual level. At Chabad, all students are welcome, regardless of background, affiliation, and level of observance. http://www.jewishvikings.com/
Creators of Visual Art and Literature Society[edit | edit source]
The Creators society is a place where students from all major, backgrounds and walks of life can come together to create whether that be painting, writing, knitting, etc. You may view their website at http://community.livejournal.com/creatorssociety/
Croquet Club[edit | edit source]
The purpose of the Croquet Club is to have fun and meet new and exciting people. If anyone is interested visit http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/group.php?gid=5107783430&ref=ts
Cycling Club[edit | edit source]
The WWU Cycling club is an organization that competes all over the northwest in cycling disciplines including road, mountain, track, and cyclocross. More information can be found at their website: http://www.wwucycling.com
Dead Parrots Society[edit | edit source]
An improv comedy group on campus that seeks to entertain audiences of the community and teach their members about the finer points of on-the-spot comedy. The group's website is located at http://web.archive.org/20081207083804/www.freewebs.com/deadparrotssociety/ They can also be reached, (and will send email notifications about upcoming events to you,) on Facebook under the search name: WWU Dead Parrots Society Fan Club.
Filipino American Student Association[edit | edit source]
This is an Ethnic Student Center Club revolving around the Filipino culture through food, dance, language, and traditional customs. You can visit FASA online for news and upcoming events here: http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~esc/clubs/fasa/
Harry Potter Club[edit | edit source]
The Harry Potter club is a social group that enjoys the idiosyncrasies of the Harry Potter world. The Club brings different people together through the love of a fandom that has captured the hearts of millions of people around the world.
Contact them at their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2213037084#/groups.php?gid=2213037084&cancel_r2j
Hui O' Hawaii Club[edit | edit source]
The Hui O' Hawaii club is interested in eating lots of Hawaiian food and celebrating Hawaii through dances and songs. They put on dancing lessons at the local YMCA and travel as far down as Seattle to attend outside Hawaiian events or to just eat at Hawaiian restaurants. Cheryl-Ann Fujioka is the current president of the club. She currently still lives in Hawaii however is attending Western during the school years. Contact info: email@example.com
KUGS Radio[edit | edit source]
The goal of KUGS-FM is to bridge the gap between Western Washington University and the Bellingham Community by providing a variation of music and information that keeps up with current events and interests. This is accomplished by a continually upbeat and new membership of DJ's, etc. http://www.as.wwu.edu/programs/other/kugs/index.php
Ritmo Latino[edit | edit source]
A group that focuses on the promotion and teaching of the Latin rhythms of salsa, merengue, bachata, cha-cha, and more. To contact this club, send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
LEAD[edit | edit source]
LEAD, which stands for Learning Environment Action Discovery, is a student-run organization that aims to help the environment and inform students and volunteers about the environment (such as invasive species, etc.). Their mission statement is "To create community environmental service learning projects through partnerships between the Bellingham community, Western Washington University students, and the Bellingham School District." http://www.wwu.edu/lead
Making Western Diverse[edit | edit source]
This club is designed to bring different types of people together, from high schools and other clubs around Western Washington University to form communal bonds and relationships within the community. To contact this club, email: email@example.com
Photography Club[edit | edit source]
The photography club is a great club for anyone who takes an interest in pictures. In this club you are able to take pictures and express what they mean to you in front of the members of the club. Contact wwuphotoclub at gmail.com or go to http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=6601561822 or Flickr http://www.flickr.com/groups/902951@N25/
Sailing Club[edit | edit source]
The Western Washington University Sailing Team is an active group of undergraduate students sharing a common passion for sailing. Western's Sailing Team not only focuses on advanced sailing, but welcomes sailors of any ability. http://wwusailing.com/
Scottish Country Dancing Club (SCD)[edit | edit source]
The Scottish Country Dancing Club is an Associated students Club, and is open to all students and faculty at WWU. They welcome new members regardless of dancing ability and will gladly instruct you in the fundamentals of Scottish Country Dancing. Scottish Country Dancing is not difficult, but it is lots of fun, so please feel free to join! http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~scottish/
Sexploration[edit | edit source]
Sexploration is a discussion group where women (and sometimes men) can go and talk in a safe place where everyone is free to be completely honest and open. The goal of the club is to shed the societal taboos about sexuality. One of the leaders is Grace Wischerth, and you can often find her in the Sexual Awareness Center in the VU (http://sac.as.wwu.edu/).
SMASH Club[edit | edit source]
To create a gathering point for smash players from all around campus. To create opportunities for both recreational and competitive play so that players of all skill levels can learn and compete. To contact this club, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
South Asian Student Association (SASA)[edit | edit source]
The goal of SASA is to raise awareness about the South Asian Culture on campus and around the community through an environment in which students are encouraged to explore the culture. It also strives to create a welcoming community for students who want to be involved in the cultures of South Asia. http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~esc/clubs/sasa/
STAND[edit | edit source]
The goal of STAND is to educate others on genocide in Darfur and raise funds for relief efforts. http://groups.google.com/group/wwustand
Students for Disability Awareness[edit | edit source]
SDA's mission is to spread awareness and educate the WWU public about equal opportunity, accommodations, and empowerment. http://www.wwusda.org/
Students for Slum Doctors Program [SSDP][edit | edit source]
"Our goal as SSDP Club is to provide a "plug in" for students at Western to inform them about the Slum Doctor Programme and spread awareness of international public health issues. We will be separate from, but working with, the Slum Doctor Programme and attempt to raise money via fundraisers for the Programme to assist their efforts abroad." (website: http://www.as.wwu.edu/clubs/categorical/?type=SOC )
Students for Renewable Energy[edit | edit source]
Students for Renewable Energy's mission is to, through the use of renewable energy at Western Washington University, encourage both the local and global community to implement more sustainable practices. http://www.westernsre.org/
Student Coalition for Immigration Rights (S.C.I.R.)[edit | edit source]
S.C.I.R. mission is to bring awareness to the community about the struggles of U.S. immigrants through workshops. Our goal is to help them obtain a higher education and build a better future through the presentation of workshops and community involvement, and creating equal opportunities for all. S.C.I.R email: email@example.com The Student Coalition for Immigration Rights has a common goal, which is to bring awareness of undocumented students but to also move past awareness to taking action.The group focuses on undocumented students of all ages. A.S. club post: http://www.as.wwu.edu/clubs/categorical/?type=SOC
Student Homeless Outreach Team[edit | edit source]
Every quarter SHOT puts on the campus event “Be Our Guest” were students use their extra meals to invite hungry members of the community to come and dine with them at the Viking Commons. As well as feeding hungry members of the community "Be Our Guest" helps to break down the barrier between the students of WWU and the Bellingham community. Webpage 
Tango Club[edit | edit source]
The Tango Club teaches the history, style, and dance of the Argentine tango. http://www.grupogotan.com
Visual Arts and Literacy[edit | edit source]
The Visual Arts and Literacy Club is an on campus student organization whose main focus and drawing and writing. An artists lifestyle can sometimes be a lonely one,so that's where this club comes in. Those with these interests can come together, collaborate, or get input from one another.
VOX: Planned Parenthood[edit | edit source]
The Planned Parenthood club on campus is dedicated to getting the word around about getting tested for STIs and promoting safe sex. VOX: Voices for Planned Parenthood works with the Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood to promote safe sex, STI testing, and other areas of sexual health. They are always looking for new members (especially males) and are a lively group who are really dedicated to what they do. You can contact them at http://www.plannedparenthood.org/mbpp/ and ask them how to get in touch with the campus division.
Western Men Against Violence[edit | edit source]
Mission Statement: To create a campus and community free of violence, to promote relationships based on equality and respect, to encourage positive, healthy expressions of masculinity, and to be visible, outspoken allies for all who experience prejudice and discrimination. http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~wmav/
Western Warthog Rugby[edit | edit source]
Work hard, play harder. To provide rugby for the benefit and enjoyment of people living in and around WWU, whilst encouraging integration and an anti-drug program in schools. Website: http://www.wwu.edu/depts/mrugby/contact.html
Women In The Woods[edit | edit source]
The purpose of Women in the Woods is to educate and empower women to become independent and develop leadership rules within their communities. It is a club where women can meet together, spend time and learn outdoors. http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~woods/mission/vision.html
World Injustice Awareness Club[edit | edit source]
The World Injustice Awareness Club was founded in spring '05 by students interested in: campus-wide education on world issues, talking about what's going on in the world and thinking about ways to act on that information in a positive way; every member tries to educate themselves and each other by researching and talking about human rights issues. http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~wiac/
WWU Bodybuilding Club[edit | edit source]
Share lifting programs, diets, supplements, proteins. Meet training partners and train for future competitions. Improve overall physique and maintain year round. Meet bodybuilders like Toney Freeman, Dexter Jackson, and Tanji Johnson. Contact person: Stephanie Singer.
Yes! Club[edit | edit source]
The Yes Club promotes happiness in a stress-free, violence-free environment. While this club is at universities all over the nation, more information about Western Washington University's Yes! Club can be found at: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?sid=e1919125ef1d65feaf167ed35aecbe7f&gid=5170449708&ref=search
Other Clubs[edit | edit source]
(When entering summary of your group, make the group name larger and place it above this section)
- 1 Biology club
- 8 Students of optional clothing
- 7 Homeless outreach program
- 6 CCF
- 5 Strong men
- 3 Korean club formerly Muslim Student Association
- 2 Metal and Hardcore club
- 2 Film Club
- 8 Submarine team
- 7 Disability Awareness
- 5 Western Strong men
- 2 swing kids