December 2, 2020

Editorial: Clubs and recruitment-Hook ’em while they’re young

As The Journal staff looked out on the Quad this past Tuesday, we saw something quite odd—the Quad was full of students. Not just random Quidditch players or the occasional Frisbee thrower, but 30 or 40 students clustered around tables. We soon realized that this was the product of Recruitment Fair; something that we’ve noticed is much needed for student organizations.
When the majority of our staff started in 2007 and 2008, it was a year of big changes: Our first sorority and fraternity came on campus, Potterheads Anonymous phased out in favor of a Quidditch team and the campus was taken over by a zombie invasion when Humans vs. Zombies became a regular spring staple.
However, what we’re facing now is a student organization standstill. Many of these groups are fading away. The fraternity,  Delta Upsilon, which once fought to even have a presence at this school, is now fighting to maintain that presence.
This time the fraternity isn’t grappling for a place because of disdain for the group but rather for a complete disinterest in joining, while its sister club on campus, Delta Phi Epsilon, has found success as the only sorority.
The fraternity isn’t alone in its struggle. HvZ seems to be suffering this year without the leadership of its founder Sam Vest.
The common link among these floundering organizations leads to a simple answer, if not a simple solution.
HvZ and the fraternity were both started by people who have now graduated or moved on, leaving their organizations without a leader to carry on the ideals.
We hope that the Recruitment Fair came at the right time; it seems there was a lot of turnout and interest, but only time will tell if the lure of the clubs really worked or if it was just the lure of the food offered at each table.
We at The Journal have a suggestion for struggling clubs at Webster ­— recruit early and recruit young. While there is certainly some logic in letting upperclassmen organize and run campus clubs, the creativity and manpower of underclassmen is being overlooked.
If a freshman gets involved with HvZ from the start, and shows a real interest in the organization, teach him how to take over.
Give group members more responsibility in the club. A student who feels involved and has invested time and energy into a student organization from the start is more likely to stick around. Which is a pretty important part of club success in our minds.
Ask the members of DU.

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