It’s that time of year again. Where our chapter’s start looking at who is staying, who is leaving and how do we get more people to join our organization. So how do we get students to want to stay? How do we entice students to want to join us?
Retention, it’s a hot topic in all of Higher Education, but I think one of high importance in our housing governance organizations. Often times, those students who are returning to campus are student staff members who are already super involved. Other times, our housing governance organizations do not allow student staff members to be leaders or in those organizations. So, how do we make those other students who are not holding student staff positions want or see a need in joining housing governance? Are those organizations visible to our students who live in the halls? Do they even know that they exist?
With the new NRHH membership statuses, there is opportunities for our students who live off campus to still have an impact on the foundation that helped make them successful student leaders. Why not utilize the off campus membership to help grow and stabilize your organization if you need to?
I also think that when you make membership in NRHH an option, then people will take the option out. Once an NRHH member, always an NRHH member. NRHH is an honorary, students are inducted. As long as they are living on campus, they are members and should count toward your membership cap. There are those times that the student chooses to apply for early alumni status or drop their membership completely. When this starts happening in mass exodus, then maybe our chapters need to evaluate what is happening and change to make our members realize their impact.
This brings us back to how the students noticed your organization to begin with? Was it at a campus event, a flyer, another student organization meeting, or word of mouth from a peer. What caught that students interest? Why did the student decide to join? What was the student informed about in regards to your organization?
Are we telling the candidate members what will be expected when they get into NRHH? Are we being transparent about the organization? Is there something we are hiding? These are great questions to ask at the beginning of every recruitment season. How are we telling our chapter’s story? Does our chapter have a story to tell?
Are we enticing students by putting on a fluffy program and then not being fluffy throughout the year? Do we often do a bait and switch with our student organizations? I think if we start being transparent and consistent in our recruitment practices, then our members will know what our organization is and why they should participate in it. If we go back to that, then will our members feel more impacted throughout the year because they know why there are doing something? Sometimes, being basic, is a good thing!