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Chapter Leaders Find Solutions to Common Challenges

By Dirk Fabian

This year at the Student Leadership Workshop a new event was introduced - Chapter Roundtable Discussions. Here, leaders gathered to discuss a wide array of topics relevant to Chapter management. Workshop attendees split into groups by topic and were given 20 minutes for discussion. Later, students were asked to move to another table and discuss a new topic.  Topic moderators stayed at the table to guide the discussion and summarize the group results. Overall, there were three rotations which produced a considerable amount of ideas. Download the group notes to find out what these leaders had to say about:
  • Outreach
  • Recruiting New Members & Energizing the Old 
  • Industry Relations 
  • Managing Your Money 
  • Involving Undergrads 
  • Department / Advisor Relations & Department Politics 
  • Inter-Chapter Collaboration 
Downloads
  • Discussion Notes
       [pdf]  [doc]

Conclusions

Discussion at the tables was lively and a great chance for students to share their personal experiences as chapter leaders.  A number of new ideas were generated through the roundtables and via the leadership workshop survey.  Check the discussion notes for great ideas on how to engage industry in your chapter, recruit new members, and involve undergraduates in your activities.  After the conference, we surveyed particpants for their suggestions for next year and ideas for projects.  Note that the Service Award for chapters is still available, so these suggestions should provide useful ideas.  The two most popular ideas for projects were 1) an alumni listing for student chapters that will let you contact members that have graduated and 2) a wiki to collect all the outreach demonstrations and events that student chapters create.  We will be working to implement these ideas with volunteer assistance as the year progresses.