This post was from 2007 but it’s relevant once again. Also, check out the YDA Welcome Guide for College and University Chapters.
It’s that time of the year again when college chapters are looking to recruit new members from the influx of wide-eyed freshmen joining their campuses. Here are are a few ideas for new member recruitment that have been used effectively by chapters in the past.
1. Have a presence at your university’s club/involvement fair.
Most schools have a fair with clubs and activities for incoming freshman, and this is a great place to find new members. I was actually recruited by the ASU Young Democrats 7 years ago at such a fair. A lot of incoming students come from Democratic families or were interested in politics in high school, but they don’t know how to get involved now that they are in college. Have a presence and let them know that the Young Democrats is right for them.
2. Help freshman move into their dorms.
This works especially well if your chapter has t-shirts that identify you as a member of the Young Democrats. Everyone needs help moving in, and you will be the first new people the student meets in their college career. Have fliers that you hand out to the students you help with your meeting time and place and you will surely see some of them again.
3. On-Campus Tabling.
Some schools are better about this than others. The ASU Young Democrats reserve a table on one of the most popular areas of campus and have a constant presence every day. This is a tactic that can be used not just at the start of the year but throughout the entire semester. The table will have information about the organization, meetings, events, etc. It is also a good way to register students to vote.
Those are only three ideas for the start of a new semester. If anyone has experience with different techniques please leave a comment and share them here with other chapters.