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Student Union: How to Engage University Communities

black graduation cap and diplomaUniversity students need to learn not only from their studies but also from various extracurricular activities. These programs, sports, and organizations help give students more opportunities for real-life experiences that can help them once school is over. Extracurricular activities also help students make connections and friendships that might not come as quickly in a lecture setting. One organization in particular that serves as a leader for the rest is a university’s student union. Here are some tips on engaging undergrads in joining the student union and other campus activities.

What is a student union?

A student union at a university is typically an association or group that helps improve the lives of other students. Sometimes referred to as a student council or government, these groups help govern day-to-day activities around campus. Student union members are typically voted into their positions since they are essentially the representatives of the entire student body.

The role of the student union is to help look out for you and your interests as you attend university. Student unions are the pulse of a college because they help provide resources for all activities that take place. These students help arrange social events, housing, and sometimes health services.

How to get students involved

The best action you can take to get students engaged in any program is to get the word out far and wide. While all students typically have different interests from one another, you can almost always guarantee that some will have the ambition to lead and govern others. Especially those who look to become future politicians could hugely benefit from joining their college student union. Below are some strategies that could help draw people in.

Highlight the long-term benefits

Student organizations not only benefit undergrads while they attend school but also provide long-term advantages as well. Since young adults don’t always know what they want in life long term, laying out their potential advantages can help persuade them.

  • You can learn more about yourself and how you communicate with others

College classes help with the hard skills people need in their careers, such as computer programming, graphic design, copywriting, etc. However, soft skills such as leadership, teamwork, and networking come from outside of the classroom in extracurriculars and organizations. College organizations are low-pressure environments that teach you how to communicate effectively with others while learning about yourself in the process.

three college students smiling at each other on a lawn

  • A productive and fun breather from your studies

As we all know by now, the college experience is more than just your studies. The goal of university education is to help give students all the tools they can need for adult life afterward. Since energy shouldn’t be focused entirely on work all of the time, learning how to spend your free time in a way that makes you feel accomplished is a crucial skill. University groups teach students how to manage their time and complete projects in life outside of their work. Plus, these organizations offer a breath of fresh air from their studies while having fun and being productive simultaneously.

  • Give back to your community

Student organizations and governments not only enhance networking and communication skills but also provide opportunities for giving back to the community. Volunteering experiences help people feel connected to their community while giving a sense of accomplishment for a long-term task. Many times students will look back fondly on being a part of their community and helping where they could.

Host an Introductory Party

Everyone likes a party. For your student union or other groups in your community, throwing an introductory party or event can be a substantial first step to rally interest from students. Getting people to the party, however, requires the proper promotion.

  • Create Signage/Displays

College students looking at a red divider displayCreate signage and displays to place all over campus for the introductory party and any other meetings you have scheduled. Making it visible to the public is a great first step because it becomes at the forefront of their mind. Use the same promotional poster on social sites and email blasts, so there is continuity for easy recognition. Putting these out as early as possible allows them to be in front of more eyes, so make sure to give yourself time.

  • Set up Booths in the Union Center

College kids like belonging to something. Most union centers have space for organizations to set up booths to get people’s attention. By showcasing the community that comes with being a part of the student union, they may be more enticed to join—especially if their friends are also joining it.

Have Fun!

Any organization that is all work and no play is a five-star recipe for burnout. For this reason, it is essential to balance your productivity with hang-out sessions and relaxation time. This mindset will help you maintain members in the student union who are excited and in the creative zone.

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