The Student Involvement (SI) staff has developed a program to recognize and promote student organization success. The Earn Your Stripes program will be implemented this year and intends to improve student organization sustainability.
The programâ€™s goal is to help organizations become more successful. The SI recognizes the increasing number of student organizations that were not renewing their registrations and decided to create a program to resolve that turnover.
â€œWe needed something to establish higher levels of sustainability, so when students come back for Alumni Weekend in 2040, their organization still exists,â€ said Jamie Thompson, director of Student Involvement and Trintiy alumnus.
Thompson wants to go beyond merely maintaining organizations. SI wants to preserve organizations.
SI did extensive research before finalizing the program. They looked at various markers and models of student organization success to try to define organizational success from a big picture.
â€œIt basically came down to were elements that fit into three boxes: sustainability, member development and engagement and involvement,â€ Thompson said.
Those three elements, along with a fourth that includes required steps, compose the four categories of â€œstripesâ€ organizations can become successful and grow. Organizations that complete 15 of the 20 stripes will receive honors at a new excellence awards ceremony that will be held in April.
Although organizations were previously recognized at the annual Student Leadership Awards, SI is starting a brand new excellence event. This change was proposed when the SI staff realized the only people attending were those who received awards, and organizations were limited in the number of members who could go to the ceremony.
â€œThe broader student organization community wasnâ€™t getting exposed to the great work that was happening. We know thereâ€™s a lot of value in other organizations and in other student leaders being exposed to the work other organizations are doing,â€ Thompson said.
This new event will be called the LeeRoys, and will be held April 20.
â€œMy goal is to have LeeRoy there with a bowtie on,â€ Thompson said. â€œWeâ€™re hoping more student organization representatives attend that, whether youâ€™re receiving an award or not.â€
SI aims to have at least 20 organizations complete half of the points this year and to have strengthened relationships between advisors and organizations.
â€œA student will only be here for four years, whereas an advisor has been here long before you and long after you, so weâ€™re trying to encourage stronger relationships between student organizations and advisors,â€ Thompson said.
The clear guidelines the program offers allow organizations to gain and maintain success. Earn Your Stripes also helps keep progress made in previous years.
â€œI think itâ€™ll bring continuity to our organization. Often some initiatives are lost when we have new people coming in. I think with this set of standards, we can build on the effectiveness of our organization â€” instead of starting over with each new set of senators,â€ said Brenna Hill, Student Government Association president.
Since 2014, 28 student organizations have failed to complete the annual registration process; Earn Your Stripes intends to reduce these future numbers. By offering a checklist for organizations to follow, the program is creating sustainability.
â€œItâ€™s a helpful checklist. Are we doing what weâ€™re supposed to be doing? Are we functioning as a group? I think itâ€™ll help build on what organizations have already accomplished and help maintain their efficiency,â€ Hill said.
Trinity Diversity Connection president, Huda Syed agrees that the program will encourage organizations to have a stronger presence on campus.
â€œItâ€™ll help boost our representation on campus. Weâ€™re already really involved, but weâ€™ll be able to look back and see whether or not we did as much last year as we did this year,â€ Syed said.
The building-block nature of the Earn Your Stripes program intends to help clubs grow and become more developed each year. With the incentive of winning a LeeRoy, Earn Your Stripes offers guidelines that organizations can follow to become more sustainable.