Spring Cleaning: A Fresh Start to a New Semester

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By Veronica Dulin, GenUN Fellow

With the end of the fall semester approaching and school winding down, it’s important to keep the ball rolling for UNA. The break is a great time to get to look back on this semester’s projects and achievements and to plan for next semester.  Give your leadership team some time off, but get the ball rolling by planning a conference call, Skype session, Google Hangout, or in-person meeting when you’re all refreshed.

Like all meetings, you should have an agenda pre-planned and distributed ahead of time to ensure that the conversation is efficient and focused. Start with a ‘state of the club’ address: have your officers report on the current status of their wing of the organization. For example, your treasurer can give an expense report, your PR officer can describe social media engagement, and membership records can be shared.

Now that you know the conditions of the club, think about how you got there. It’s always good to do a semester in review. Recap your events, trips, campaigns, and any other aspect of the organization. Talk about what worked and didn’t work. Here are some sample evaluation questions to prompt discussion:

  • How successful was your digital and print communication strategy? With your members? With the community? Within the leadership team?
  • How did membership recruitment go and what was member engagement? Are there ways to improve that?
  • Was the number of events too small, adequate, or too large?
  • What were your most successful events and why?
  • What resources were needed to accomplish events that didn’t succeed as much? Funds? Publicity? Logistics? Timing?
  • How successful were your advocacy efforts and how can they be augmented?
  • Did people perform their responsibilities and what is a way to improve accountability?

Now comes the exciting part: planning for the next semester! Discuss the number and type of events that you want to put on and create a calendar, making sure to reference other university organization’s calendars to avoid conflict. Set realistic goals for each event, such as how many people you want in attendance or how many funds you want to raise, so that you can judge whether or not they are successful. Who can you partner with and what are the resources, financial or otherwise, needed for the events? It is better to take time during break to think about these things so that you aren’t scrambling during the semester to find the things you need. Have the skeletons of events in place to be fleshed out at a later date.

Planning during break will allow you to begin the new year with confidence and an informed leadership team that is enthusiastic about the future of the club. 

 

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