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2015-02-12_16-48-34

An Open Doors, Open Hearts Moment at Orientation- A Student Leader Spotlight

An Open Doors, Open Hearts Moment at Orientation- A Student Leader Spotlight

We are always meeting student leaders who are going the extra mile to make others feel welcome and build community culture on their campuses. We realized that one great way to learn from each other is to spotlight different students who have made an impact on the lives of their fellow students. Meet Keren Bakke, a student at Adams State University. She’s a Psychology and Business Administration major, the Vice President of the Residence Hall Association, an Orientation Leader and a Student Support Services Member on campus. We asked her about when she first felt most involved and how she involves new students.  Have you ever had a difficult time connecting with a student, but eventually got them engaged in the community?  Many times. My most memorable one was the one time I had a very defiant student in my group. He was rebellious and […]

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Jabs and Right Hooks for Gaining and Retaining Student Engagement

Jabs and Right Hooks for Gaining and Retaining Student Engagement

Recently, I read a really awesome social marketing book called Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuck. He talks about the fact that on social media, you have to engage your brand’s fans with share-able, interesting content (jabs) before switching to the “sell” posts (right hooks). For example, a cat food company might share a vine of a cat saying “yas,” a funny cat meme, and an article about why cats are better than dogs throughout the week. Then, on Friday, they post an image of a cat enjoying their food, and write “15% off your first order online!” If the brand had just started with the right hook, why should anyone care and make a purchase? It’s only after these jabs that: More people are aware of the brand because of the fun or interesting content that got shared […]

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Creating the Perfect Storm on Your Team

Creating the Perfect Storm on Your Team

It is that point in the semester where campus organizations and clubs have met at least once. Everyone has had had their first meeting where everyone gets to know each other, see the plans for this semester, and define the role each team member will play. According to Tuckman’s Team-Development Model, we have just passed the “Forming” stage, and are now in the “Storming” phase of the semester for our campus groups. In the storming phase, we see differences emerge between team members and conflict arise. In this phase, it is very important to make everyone feel welcomed, connected, and engaged, as everyone should be aware of others’ biases, approaches, and styles. The storming phase can be potentially destructive for the group if its conflict is not addressed. The 1’s and 2’s that just joined the dance floor may disagree with […]

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Why I Never Give Up Trying to Connect with Other Students- A Student Leader Spotlight

Why I Never Give Up Trying to Connect with Other Students- A Student Leader Spotlight

We are always meeting student leaders who are going the extra mile to make others feel welcome and build community culture on their campuses. We realized that one great way to learn from each other is to spotlight different students who have made an impact on the lives of their fellow students. Meet Michael Cusanza, a student at Louisiana State University. He’s a Business Management major and a Resident Assistant on campus. We asked him about the the things he loves on campus and how he gets others involved. What’s your favorite campus tradition? “At LSU, everyday the bell tower rings with the time every 15 minutes, and at noon, it rings out the school’s anthem. I love hearing the ring of the bell. It makes me feel at home.”   Have you ever had a difficult time connecting with […]

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The Friends You Make In Your First Year are… Different

The Friends You Make In Your First Year are… Different

As I was running down the ramp to attempt to barely make a train at Grand Central, another woman was running beside me. The doors of the train closed before we reached them and we both just stopped, disappointed. Suddenly the doors popped back open and we both went “OH!!” and started running again to hop on the train together. We both laughed to acknowledge that we had just experienced that together and I said to her, “I am so glad we got to share that moment!” I will likely never see her again, but I felt connected to this person I know nothing about because we shared a dilemma, and succeeded together.  I want you to think back to your first year at college. Think about the friends that you made. Did any of them stick? If you met them […]

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4 Ways to Reel in the New Members

4 Ways to Reel in the New Members

Ahh, the beginning of a new semester… as a campus leader, you are excited about this! You have personal goals of raising your GPA and increasing your social network, and then you also have goals for your campus organization. Whether it is increasing the amount of funds for your organization’s philanthropy, or increasing attendance at that amazing event you hold every year, your group has goals (and they better be SMART goals.) While setting these goals for the year, remember the value of bringing in new members to your student organization, and make it a goal to increase the number of new members in your organization. New members bring a fresh perspective to the team. Of course they have a common interest that connects them to the club they’ve joined, but they also come from a different back ground with […]

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School is Here- Where’s the Enthusiasm?

School is Here- Where’s the Enthusiasm?

The beginning of the school year is always the same. You see first years with a weird mix of nervousness and excitement, and upperclassmen with little to no energy. You’ll walk into a classroom and see the split right away. The first years are sitting in the front row and have all the school supplies they could possibly need. Everyone else is scattered around, trying to find a pen and a piece of paper because they forgot both. What happens between first and second year that results in students losing their desire to be in school? With the start of school right around the corner, how can students keep their energy and excitement levels up? Here’s some tips: 1) Stay involved. Make sure that you attend some of your colleges events, club meetings or off campus outings. It’s been proven […]

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Giving People the Place to Be Themselves

Giving People the Place to Be Themselves

On Friday, I was walking down Broadway, rushing to get back from an errand towards the end of the workday, in typical NYC fashion. Knit brow, moving at a fast clip, thinking about how many more steps it would take back to my building. As I approached my destination, I saw a man cleaning the street. But he wasn’t just sweeping, he was straight up singing to himself. Seeing him rocking out to nothing but the rhythm of his broom and the tune stuck in his head put a huge grin on my face that I couldn’t hide. I am sure the people walking past me saw that smile and either thought I was crazy, or smiled to themselves too. This got me thinking – giving people the space to feel comfortable enough to be themselves is so important to building […]

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Open Your Heart: 3 Ways to Use Life Defining Moments to Strengthen Your Team

Open Your Heart: 3 Ways to Use Life Defining Moments to Strengthen Your Team

Today marks another year in the books for QUEST, a first year summer leadership experience at my university. Each year I’ve served as a peer mentor during QUEST, helping the freshmen in our program to adjust well to campus, become engaged leaders, and develop personal goals for the year. Each year, the peer mentors and “Questers” go through a training exercise called Life Defining Moments. During this activity, each person in the group shares an experience, which has changed their life forever. It can be a great experience full of happiness, or a deep secret that few people know. It is an activity filled with emotions, and at the end of it the group feels really well connected, like a family. This got me thinking… it’s really important to create “Open Doors, Open Hearts” moments in order to build a […]

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Learning School Cheers was the First Moment I Felt I Belonged- A Student Leader Spotlight

Learning School Cheers was the First Moment I Felt I Belonged- A Student Leader Spotlight

We are always meeting student leaders who are going the extra mile to make others feel welcome and build community culture on their campuses. We realized that one great way to learn from each other is to spotlight different students who have made an impact on the lives of their fellow students. Meet Morgan Petersen, a student at Louisiana State University. She’s an English major, a Resident Assistant and an LSU Ambassador on campus. We asked her about the things she loves on campus and how she gets others involved.   What’s your favorite campus tradition? “Standing in Death Valley and doing the first cheer in the stadium for the first time that football season; the energy is practically alive in the stadium and even if you aren’t the most die hard LSU football fan, it’s completely infectious.”   What was […]

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