Creating a Smooth Transition into Campus Leadership

The spring semester (or quarter!) is my favorite time of year on college campuses – the student union is buzzing with excitement from soon-to-be graduates to service activities and spring festivals. This is also the core time for student government and campus club elections, leadership interviews and planning for the next year. Leaders begin to emerge on campus, sharing their vision for the following Fall in their speeches, campaigns and interviews; with so much potential and planning going on, it’s hard not to be excited for all of the possibilities. Whether you are running in order to bring change to an organization, gain new experiences or revitalize a once-vibrant club – good luck to you on your transition into campus leadership!

You will quickly learn that campus leadership is much more than just a title! With each position comes a job description that may include everything from budgeting, running meetings, event planning, fundraising and social media! With so much to learn, so quickly, it is important that outgoing leaders and incoming officers work together to make a smooth transition. So, before Spring Fever hits too hard use these tips to make your transition a successful one:

  • Hold a retreat for the new incoming officers to meet with the old officers. This is a great time for the outgoing leaders to meet 1:1 with new officers, hand over materials and explain the ins and outs of the position. New officers: ask questions!
  • As outgoing officer board members, you have put a lot of work into the chapter over the year. This is your legacy! Share with the new officers your vision of the future and provide insight into your successes and failures.
  • Provide time for incoming leaders to shadow or observe the outgoing leaders on a few majors tasks and meetings. Plan one activity, event or project together for the fall term, so something is in place for when the new officers take on their new roles in August.
  • Introduce the new officers to your campus advisor, key campus administrators and students that they will be working with.
  • Outgoing Officers: Remember to share the following – preferred contact information, passwords, paperwork, club materials, funds, keys and records.
  • Incoming Officers: Get to know each other! You will be working together next year. A lot. Spend some time before next year sharing your strengths, weaknesses, vision for the organization, your new position and what your goals are for the following year.

As a team of incoming and outgoing leaders, you can determine the direction of your organization and make a real difference to your campus communities! It is just as important to see where the club has been to determine where it will go.

Have fun with your transition and enjoy the excitement of spring activities on your campus!

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