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San Diego State University

Student Life and Leadership

How to Become a Thriving and Enduring Student Organization

Student organizations come in all varieties at San Diego State University. Some are large, some are small, some meet regularly, and some come together only a few times a semester. Some are major based, some are honor based, and some meet simply for a common interest.

  1. Establish your organization on campus
    1. Participate in campus activities such as Student Organization Fairs, campus events that invite student organization participation (such as Compact Scholars and philanthropic events), Welcome Week, Aztec Nights, and intramural sports.
    2. Participate in university sponsored competitions such as Homecoming and Greenfest.
    3. Advertise! Invest in organization t-shirts and other promotional items. To announce meeting times, hang banners, pass out flyers and make sure that your meeting information is posted on the Student Life & Leadership website.
  2. Establish a solid group of core members
    1. Get the word out about joining your organization by tabling at the Student Organization Involvement Expo which takes place the first week of each semester.
    2. Create bylaws that hold members to certain standards, such as regular attendance and participation.
    3. Increase member involvement by instituting a number of executive and chair positions, as well as creating committees to oversee certain aspects of the organization.
    4. Recognize and reward members for achievement, participation, and overall organization commitment.
  3. Establish your organization in the community
    Include a service component as part of your organization’s membership criteria or as a tradition every semester. Ideas include hosting your own community project, establishing a team every year with a local benefit walk, and/or requiring members to complete a number of hours within the community each semester.
  4. Go above and beyond at your meetings
    Think outside of the box when it comes to meetings and activities. Instead of trying to follow what you think is typical meeting proceedings, create an entirely unique meeting style for your members. Invite speakers from the community, hold mini competitions amongst your members to create camaraderie, or even theme your meetings!
  5. Establish a solid relationship with your faculty/staff advisor
    1. Maintain communication regarding organization meetings and other activities.
    2. Recognize your advisor for their continued support and invite them to your events.
  6. Facilitate effective transitions amongst officers from year to year
    Keep your organization strong by hosting transition meetings that allow for each position to pass on relevant information and documents, as well as tips, ideas, and goals.
  7. Explore and utilize all of your resources as a recognized student organization
    1. Check with Student Life & Leadership if you have any questions or want to brainstorm new ideas.
    2. Surf the Student Life & Leadership website’s helpful documents.