Student Engagement

Making On-Campus Programs Successful and Collecting Valuable Feedback

You might be thinking about starting an initiative on your campus that will impact a significant amount of the student population. There’s a lot that can go into gaining the support you need to ensure your initiative gets off the ground and is successful long-term.

Identify key student organizations and organize with as many student groups as possible. Hall Governments, Residence Hall Associations, and Greek Houses are often great groups to reach out to as their membership spans large amounts of students and they are usually familiar with getting programs implemented themselves.

Seek out institutional partnerships. This can make a huge difference in both getting an initiative off the ground and making it sustainable for years to come.

Ensure you have support from key actors. There are often many moving parts to campus-wide initiatives and it is crucial that you are aware of everything.

Use a balance of modern and traditional solutions for collecting feedback. Every student with a smartphone can easily scan a QR code and get taken right to a survey. This is a simple, passive way of collecting feedback from students who want their voices heard; however, you will likely not get responses from enough students this way. It is important to go to students and have face-to-face conversations about their concerns and ideas. This will bring out more developed responses and give you a better idea of what the student population as a whole might feel about your initiative.

Maintain good working relationships. Success will be determined partly on the initiative’s longevity. Continue having conversations with student leaders, administrators, and others to keep the windows open for more funding and even expansion of the program.

Utilizing Social Media Effectively and Boosting Event Turnout

Cultivate powerful organizational assets.

Offer food or prizes at your event. College students always love free food—it can be delicious and give them a break financially. Good prizes are also really effective if you can afford to offer them.

Prioritize gathering feedback. Staying in touch with what students are thinking will allow you to tailor your events and social media posts in the most appealing ways to maximize turnout and interaction.

Be adaptable and don’t be afraid to experiment with the unconventional. Creativity and a little effort can overcome some of the most daunting challenges.

Be consistent. Through consistent posting on social media platforms and more-than-weekly event hosting, you can develop a level of trust and reliability with your following of students. Although it takes effort, students appreciate this consistency in their otherwise busy and hectic lives and increases the chances that they will take advantage of the events being held.

Be inclusive. By not leaving big sections of the student population out, you will be able to maximize turnout and establish a more appealing environment for students to enjoy themselves.


NDSA Student Engagement Resource Document