During this pandemic, it is imperative that student organizations stay engaged to survive the transition from face-to-face interactions to social distancing.
After all, social interaction through extra-curricular activities is known to boost student satisfaction. With that in mind, here are a few tips for student leaders to optimize engagement.
With schedules being interrupted abruptly, and the method of communication changing, it is best to over communicate to make sure that information is not lost in translation. Consider using chat applications like GroupMe, text groups, or Marco Polo. Don’t assume that no news is good news. Be sure to check-in with each other on a regular basis.
Create a new normal by scheduling virtual meetings based on everyone’s new schedules. But don’t forsake meeting because of social distancing. There are still ways to be productive. Many resources like Zoom and Google Hangout are offered for free.
Although we expect everyone to engage at the same level as if we were not in a pandemic, for some students, engaging may not be as easy. Be sure to show appreciation towards members for joining virtual meetings, conducting business, and contributing to productivity. A quick personalized text can go a long way!
Although this delegation is something clubs should already be accustomed to, please don’t forget that more, now than ever, each member should hold their own weight. The organization is not the responsibility of one or a few leaders. Members are more engaged when they have clear roles, and assigned tasks to complete.
Be Aware of Members’ Needs
Some students aren’t experiencing issues with the current transition to remote instruction. Some are students don’t have as much access or secure Wi-Fi networks. Be sure not to assume that everyone can connect in the same way. Find what methods work best for all members so that no one is left out.
Incorporate Extracurricular Activities
All fun and no play makes the members go away J No seriously, don’t forget that if everything were normal, you’d spend time catching up, hanging out, and doing fun things. Don’t neglect those things, now. Just be creative! Have a concert. Have a dance battle. Or get closer with intimate icebreakers. Whatever you do, don’t forget to have fun!