The populations of faith-based colleges and universities are often as diverse as those at secular institutions. These schools range from major research universities with national-powerhouse football programs to small seminaries with less than 500 students pursuing their calling of service.
Despite those differences, students at faith-based schools often share a commitment to serving others, which can make it easier for Student Governments to recruit and retain members. If you haven't found that to be the case, it could mean that those dedicated students don't see value in your organization.
ASGA can help ensure that your SG is a respected organization on campus by:
1. Improving Your Image. While your SG probably provides numerous services, students might not realize how much SG does on their behalf. You'll learn to promote SG as an organization that benefits students' future careers and callings to serve. New marketing plans will help you increase participation and focus your outreach efforts.
2. Reconsidering Your Structure and Purpose. You may want to reorganize the structure of your SG and number of representatives so that all positions are filled with competent, committed members and the projects you pursue are realistic. Examining your overall purpose, goals, and projects will maximize your limited manpower and show that you get things done.
3. Connecting You to Peers Nationwide. ASGA has about 5,000 SGs listed in our comprehensive SG Database. Of those schools, more than 1,000 are private institutions with religious affiliations—a massive national presence. In order to reach your full potential, your SG should interact with peers, tapping into what's going on at these "like" institutions. In light of possible disparities between school cultures and populations at faith-based schools, it's that much more important that you're plugged into trends and know what's happening on a national level.
4. Improving Relations With Your Administrators. Sometimes, the policies of your administration might not seem consistent with the beliefs of your faith. It can also be difficult to access institutional documents because you're not a public school. If you have a close working relationship with the administration, you can better address such concerns.
5. Increasing Recruitment and Retention. ASGA can help you devise strategies to bring aboard new members from incoming and current students, such as emphasizing the servant-leadership component of SG positions. We'll also show you how to keep your current officers and members involved and interested in SG business, including techniques for making meetings more efficient and tips on using parliamentary procedure to your advantage.
||6. Conducting Research for You. We'll provide background information and conduct research on any SG-related questions, issues, or problems that you need hard data to support, saving you time, money, and effort. When it's completed, we'll add the information to our database, where it will benefit other SGs across the country.|
7. Providing Expert Analysis. While faith-based schools have some of the same challenges as secular institutions (such as having to navigate the often-difficult path of tuition increases), you also face situations unlike those of your secular peers. ASGA's panel of SG experts and consultants can examine your organization and provide tailored support and recommendations regarding any SG-related question or problem you're having. We offer counsel that allows you to better serve God, your fellow students, and your school.
8. Helping You Survey Your Student Body. Because the population and culture of faith-based colleges can be so diverse, it can be difficult to choose programming that meets students' needs. Through scientific surveying, ASGA can help you determine what support students need from their SG. We can also point you to time-tested projects that you may be able to adopt and use on your campus.
9. Developing Transition Materials. Effective transition materials will document what you're supposed to do, what was done last year, and the progress your SG has already made on projects. Communicating this information to your advisor and successors will help to keep some continuity from one year to the next.
10. Training Your Members and Advisors. At conferences and through consulting, ASGA can train your new officers, members, and advisors so that they know their roles and can serve efficiently and competently.