MSA, IFC stress summer recruitment for freshmen

MSA and IFC are increasing summer recruitment in an attempt to inform and attract incoming freshmen.
Incoming freshmen, transfer students and parents attended Summer Welcome 2011 throughout June and July. The MU Student Center was host to several campus organizations and activities booths that allowed onlookers to get a taste of each program.

As part of its attempt to improve outreach both on campus and in the community, the Missouri Students Association is putting a strong emphasis on freshman recruitment at Summer Welcome.

"Outreach is important because it will give us a better feeling of what students want to see from us as their representatives," MSA President Eric Woods said. "Freshman outreach is especially important because by reaching out to students at a younger age, they are more likely to get involved, stay involved and stay aware of what MSA is doing for them on campus."

The Interfraternity Council has also stressed recruitment at this year's Summer Welcome sessions and at its Formal Recruitment, held June 24 to 25.

More than 240 incoming students registered for the weekend session.

"This is the largest group of potential new members that we have ever had come through the Formal Recruitment process," Marshall Rader, IFC Vice President of Public Relations, said.

Representatives from both the IFC and the Panhellenic Association have been present at booths during Summer Welcome sessions to inform and answer questions from prospective members and their parents.

“Many incoming freshmen will want to take their time to make an informed decision about which, if any, fraternity to join,” Rader said. “Recruiting these freshmen during the summer allows both parties to become more familiar with each other, helping them make the best possible decision.”

In addition to tabling at Summer Welcome, MSA has made strides in increasing its social media presence to inform current members, students on campus and prospective students by becoming more active on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

“MSA has improved its profile in the community by making a greater effort to connect with students in ways that interest them,” Woods said.

For MSA, the recruitment process will continue into the fall and the arrival of the university’s newest freshman class.

“A big emphasis will be put on the first few weeks of school,” Nicholas Droege, MSA Executive Chief of Staff and Outreach Chairman, said. “A seminar will also be held first week in the fall, where detailed descriptions of each part of MSA will be given to potential new members. This way, they can decide what part of MSA most interests them, if any part at all.”

One downside to summer recruitment for organizations on campus is that there is only a limited amount of time to meet with the students and sufficiently inform them about each specific group. Representatives often have to cram large amounts of information into only a few minutes of meeting time.

Both Droege and Woods agree that recruiting at Summer Welcome can be effective, but its benefits can only go so far.

Regardless of the method of recruitment -- be it through tabling, social media communication or on-campus activities and seminars -- it, along with outreach, is a crucial component to student organizations.

“The importance of (outreach) has been stressed over and over again this past semester,” Droege said. “It’s about time we take the initiative to get everyone on campus involved.”

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