Retaining New Members

To continue this month’s Recruitment and Retention theme, here are some ideas from your fellow SWE sections to retain those freshmen you just recruited.

  • Hold your meetings on different days and times. If someone has a lab or a sport practice on your Designated Meeting Night, they won’t be able to go to anything SWE all semester, and you’ll lose them. No matter what day you choose someone will have a conflict, so please make sure it’s not always a conflict for the same people.
  • Take that list of new names and divide it up. Give each officer up to 5 freshmen, and make them responsible for ensuring those people come to meetings. Call them, email them, look them up in the campus directory and go over to their dorm room. For each and every meeting.
  • Create a mentorship program. That list of officers with 3-5 recruitees? Make them a team. They should hang out and do “normal friend” activities, like eat lunch or go to the movies. This way they know they can talk to the older officer for “what should I do with my life,” or to the other mentees for exam studying. They’ll also automatically have 3-5 new SWE friends at the meeting, so they won’t have to sit by themselves!
  • Have a recent SWE alumni attend a meeting and talk about her SWE experience. Most freshmen don’t realize SWE is a national organization, or how easily they could join a leadership position. Plant the thought in their minds early on.
  • Hold a joint meeting with other minority clubs such as the National Society of Black Engineers, Society of Professional Hispanic Engineers, American Indian Science and Engineering Society, International Student Organization, or GLBT organization. You might recruit new members while increasing diversity awareness.
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