At the Region H President’s meeting, the presidents and president-elects of several collegiate SWE sections came together to share successful events, brainstorm ideas, and ask questions. Below are some highlights from the conversation!
SWE Best Practices
- Went to a middle school across the street and worked with a 5th grade class to do an egg drop challenge.
- Hosted a STEM night with Girl Scouts, where the Girl Scouts completed a challenge to build the best contraption that could throw a pom pom.
- SWEetmates. SWE members were grouped in semester-long teams and encouraged to go to events with their teams. SWEetmates received points for going to each event. There was a mix of majors and class levels in the teams.
- Bake sales
- Maintain communication and relationships with corporate sponsors.
- Create and share sponsorship packets with corporate sponsors.
- Professional Development and Alumni Relations
- Networking sessions with corporate sponsors and/or alumni relations.
- Professional development book club. Some book ideas include:
- Lean In
- I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban
- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present
- Engineering Trade Show (show-and-tell): Invite companies to set up in the atrium all day and show off their products. Co-hosted with NSBE, SHPE, and SASE, and had a large turnout (900-1000 people). Grew from 15 companies to about 30.
- Socials/Advertising/Recruitment and Retention
- De-stress event with a representative to try on clothes, eat ice cream and do coloring.
- SWE-sponsored workout classes once a week.
- Send out brochures to incoming freshman and transfer students over the summer. Includes events that the section does, welcome note from president, scholarships, and how to become a member. Included a handwritten note with the brochure.
- Are there rules on when the bylaws should be updated?
- No. Only when you want to update them.
- Never have co-officers (this is to avoid co-presidents).
- Your bylaws should describe elected officers, committees, and the procedure for elections.
- Do Professional Development Grants (PDGs) need to be used for an event or can they be used for a scholarship?
- Only for events
- How much to charge companies for meetings?
- Charge enough to cover the food and then some. Have a sponsorship guide that includes the benefits of them paying SWE.
- How do you double market for SWE when your school has WISE [its own organization that markets to women in STEM]?
- Have WISE promote SWE events and vice versa. Market SWE as an organization that helps throughout their career and not just during college. Since SWE is a student-group, it offers community support as well as leadership experience that may not be available through WISE
- What do you use for social media?
- Text message reminder system: send mass text messages about an hour before each meeting. Get phone numbers at the beginning of the year at the student activity fair and they can opt in and out throughout the year.
- Lots of Tweets and Instagram!
- SWE spotlight: every week, spotlight a different SWE director/member (President, VP, Counselor, etc.). Posted a picture and paragraph on Facebook, essentially markets SWE through each of its members.