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by Kaitlyn Schmitt (kschmitt@gwu.edu)

“How do I start a new organization?” Student activities professionals are often asked this question. At GW, there are nearly 500 student organizations, so it’s hard to imagine there are other ideas for organizations, but our students are continuously identifying new opportunities and unmet needs. In 2016, the Center for Student Engagement implemented a new robust process for organization formation. The completely revised process has allowed us to integrate developmental checkpoints with newly formed student organizations, contributing to greater success and sustainability of new organizations.

The Philosophy

Prior to 2016, the new organization formation process was simple and informal: meet with a staff member from the CSE and submit a constitution and a roster. In general, if an organization completed these steps, they would gain recognition. Although the CSE reserved the right to decline recognition, without a formal rubric or set of standards by which to offer approval, we lacked the credibility and legitimacy to do so regularly. This led to the gratuitous approvals of redundant organizations and organizations which lacked solid strategy or leadership. Further, the informal nature of the process resulted in applications from students lacking the commitment and level of dedication required to start and run a new organization. The new process addresses this. ...continue reading "New Organization Formation: How To Set Them Up for Success [Infographic]"

by Bob Wu (bobwu22@gwu.edu) and Kaitlyn Schmitt (kschmitt@gwu.edu)

The Joint Elections Commission (JEC) is a select group of five students responsible for administering the student body elections. Appointed in December 2017, the student members of the 2018 JEC recruited candidates, oversaw campaigning, and encouraged students to vote in elections for the Student Association, Program Board, and Class Council. This year, we undertook several new initiatives to improve the student body elections.

Comprehensive Candidate Recruitment

A campaign season is nonexistent without candidates, and this year’s Commission placed a high priority on recruiting candidates across the University’s spectrum of colleges and undergraduate and graduate populations. We employed a variety of strategies to inform students of both the ability to run for student government, and the importance it has to our campus community. In the weeks before candidate registration officially began, we created and placed individualized blurbs in each of the University’s college newsletters, informing students of the opportunity to run for office. We also tabled at the Spring Student Organization Fair and within District House, a large student hub on campus, providing handouts and additional details for interested candidates. Finally, in tandem with student government leadership, the Commission hosted three information sessions for prospective candidates to obtain campaign calendar details and receive tips from current leaders on running a successful campaign. ...continue reading "Reflections on Elections: Behind the Scenes of GW’s Student Elections"

by Lauren Way (lway@gwu.edu)

The Faculty in Residence and Faculty Guide program at GW is a partnership between Academic Affairs and the Center for Student Engagement. The program has ten Faculty in Residence who live in apartments in the residence halls and welcome students into their homes, and ten Faculty Guides who facilitate educational and cultural development through community building in designated halls.

Faculty in Residence and Faculty Guides host programs, events, and have informal interactions with GW residential students and help foster a stronger sense of community and build relationships between students and faculty. Students are able to interact with faculty from disciplines that they may not have encountered yet, and they form individual relationships with faculty who become mentors, advisors, and resources for them throughout their time at GW. ...continue reading "Faculty Connecting with Students Outside the Classroom"

by Maria Silva (mariasilva@gwu.edu) and Ty Miranda (tmiranda@gwu.edu)

In fall 2017, the Mount Vernon Campus conducted a survey to evaluate student satisfaction on campus. Students were surveyed over five days about Mount Vernon campus resources. For each day, surveyors polled participants in five different locations across the Mount Vernon Campus:  Eckles Library, the Academic Building, West Hall, Somers Hall, Ames, and the central campus Quad. In addition, respondents were offered popcorn in exchange for their time and the individually collected responses were all anonymous. ...continue reading "The Mount Vernon Campus Student Experience"

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