In order to foster the development of a structured student organization we require the attendance of mandatory training sessions for student leaders. This will help guide the organization through the expectations of this manual and the steps and procedures that are crucial to sustaining your organization. If any student organization does not have the appropriate representatives at the student training sessions they will be unable to use the privileges of the Office of Student Activities.
The training will consist of meet and greets with other organizations, a step by step instructional session, a personalized walk through of this manual, and other interactive activities to help build team development and leadership skills.
We highly encourage taking full advantage of the training process, because it is a valuable learning opportunity that will provide first hand information which will assist in building a successful organization for years to come.
Meetings serve an important purpose and have several functions. They provide group members the opportunity to discuss ideas, objectives, goals, and current/upcoming events. They provide an environment for open communication to maintain cohesive thought within the organization. Most importantly, they allow groups to discuss and pull together resources for decision-making.
It’s very important to clearly define your goals prior to your meeting to allow for purpose and structure. One key word of advice would be to develop an agenda for each meeting. Create and offer an agenda for each member to follow along throughout the meeting. Developing an agenda sets a guideline for activities and goals of each meeting, this can include; meeting announcements, officer/committee updates, new discussion topics, unfinished business, progress of old business, tasks, responsibilities, schedules, and upcoming goals.
Logistics of each meeting is also a key element in making it work. For instance, it is best to set out activities and goals of a meeting, but equally important to keep consistent schedules and meeting times. Regular meetings allow for progressive change while keeping the organization on track with their previously established objectives. Find a location and time that suits the majority of group members. Also, keep things interesting, don’t be afraid to spice it up once in awhile; invite a guest speaker, vary method of discussion, use visual aids and/or allow refreshments for meetings. Conduct fun, new icebreakers at the beginning of meetings (especially early in the year).
As for structure, set out clear and regular opening and closing procedures for your meetings. Keep an open line of communication in order to welcome all members and members’ ideas for an open environment. Stick to the agenda, this can be influenced by officers and/or those keeping track of minutes to encourage efficiency and time management. Encourage group discussion and feedback; remember this is the key reason for gathering as a whole in the first place. Group members will be motivated and committed if their opinions are included and respected. Summarize agreements and decisions made in order to stay on track and to keep all members on the same page. For any particular upcoming events or orders of business establish goals, responsibilities, and deadlines. Work as a team and not as individuals. Lastly, allow for social time during your meeting. Whether this is a quick break for a snack, team building exercises, or interlaced throughout your meeting time it is an important component in building comradery within your group. Remember, although the group is meeting to set out and accomplish goals as an organization you are also a social organization and you are together to enjoy one another’s company, grow as a group, and create new friends.
After the meeting, be sure to account for and distribute meeting minutes and summary points. It is best to do this within 24 hours because most meetings will involve responsibilities, deadlines, and a need for quick action. It is only fair to keep members updated and informed.
Follow up with each member and their responsibilities. It is the duty of the organization to create a position of guidance for members to achieve what is expected of them. This may include clarifying duties, offering support, and lending a helping hand.
Remember, good leadership is creating positive influence over others. So be sure to openly discuss problems, issues, and topics of interest openly amongst officers and advisors. Show appreciation and recognition for others efforts.
In order to build success with meetings, it is valuable to reflect on all previous meetings to improve on future meetings. It is personal reflection on time management, productivity, and objectives met within the meetings that will determine the ultimate success of the student organization.
To address the unique needs of student organizations, Point Park University created a partnership with OrgSync to better serve our student body. This web-based application offers more than 50 tools that together revolutionize the way campus administrators, student organizations, and students communicate and interact. Each community is set up to mimic the existing campus hierarchy and creates a collaborative system connecting users with organizations and organizations with institutions.
Each organization and program on campus is provided with their own online community to communicate with members and manage their events, calendars, files, dues, websites and much more. OrgSync is also place where student organizations can complete forms for event planning, provide feedback to the Office of Student Activities, update group information, as well as communicate with various members of the University community.
Please contact the Office of Student Activities if you have any questions on how to use any of the features of OrgSync, at 412.392.4735 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact OrgSync for technical support at 972.907.0900 or through the website help feature.
Student Leadership Awards
The Outstanding Student Awards are presented each year to undergraduate students who embody a collective mix of academic excellence, volunteerism, and exemplary character within campus organizations, schools, and departments. This is the premier event on campus to celebrate student achievement.
Students, Faculty, and Staff are also welcome to nominate student leaders and advisors for the Annual Leadership Awards. Awards are given out each year to the most Outstanding Orientation Leader, Emerging Leader, Student Leader, Advisor, and Student Organization. Please check the website for detailed descriptions and to nominate individuals.