Being part of a Student’s Organization requires no small investment, whether from the president (who has huge responsibilities as well) or from the other members. Just as a reminder, a Student Organization is responsible for liaising between students and college/school administration and is a major player in coordinating many activities. This requires management skills, flexibility, dynamism, creativity and, above all, organizational skills!
Integration events, theme parties and galas; the college year is marked by a host of events that need to be organized.
So, when starting to work for such an organization, the question of efficient management arises so that every event is a successful one. (Also, let’s admit it: there’s the thrill of anticipation of all those upcoming parties!)
Current organizational issues
Usually, a new private Facebook group is created every year, which only the organization members may access. Members change. It’s no longer the same team. You start over from scratch. The pity is that all the running and management methods of the previous team are difficult to pass on to the next. As if, whenever there is a change in management within a company, everything created up to that point had been erased.
The former president can train his successor, but transfer of information remains partial and limited. The new president is left more or less to their own devices and must often accept the frustrating fact that their projects won’t be organized the way they’d imagined. And so, the new Student Organization team loses precious time, makes mistakes but must move on nevertheless.
The students are just waiting for an opportunity to trip them up…
The Facebook group discussion thread is the main news feed. All kinds of posts are just pouring in indiscriminately: photos of the events, ideas, jokes and contributions via shared Google Sheets. Such a situation has its limits because events are managed on the go with no true framework. The president must contact the members one by one to perform missions or must tag a person when they are concerned by a topic. It’s a time-consuming situation (time, yes, once again) and the other members are not always informed of everything (meaning, informed of what counts; not the photo of Whatshisname pouring beer in the Jacuzzi during the integration party).
In this maze of information, everyone chugs along trying to keep up. Event planning is mixed up with all the other conversations. Far too much time is lost (yet again!) trying to find the relevant information. As a result, some members may have a hard time committing and some tasks take too long to perform where they shouldn’t…
Managing a Student’s Organization is just like managing a company, but always keeping in mind it isn’t a company. There are goals (the main one being to satisfy the students through the creation of events). In order to reach these goals, actions must be planned and tasks must be assigned. For things to run smoothly, good communication and harmony between group members are essential.
The current method – the most widely used one – doesn’t favor structured organization.
Now, I’m going to show you another method, featuring RowShare, a collaborative tool which is more fun than Google Sheets and offers more relevant features when it comes to team work.
A collaborative solution for the quicker and more fluid management of your events
In a nutshell, RowShare is a table that you will be able to easily adapt to your specific needs. It’s a tool that allows you to choose column types according to content (text, email, date, hyperlinks, images, files, etc.) and which offers collaborative features such as choosing who can see and/or edit which lines in the table!
All your events and main actions in a single screen view
Forget about messages that get lost in a discussion thread and gain better visibility over everything that needs to be done for every event. This will ensure that every member of your team will be able to see what needs to be done and get organized accordingly. At the end of the year, you can forward the link to your table to the new members. That way, they’ll get off to a great start and save precious time!
As the president, become the game master
Several tools are available to the owner of the table (here, logically, the president):when sharing the table, they can choose who will see what and who can edit what. Thanks to RowShare, in just two clicks you can decide that everyone sees all the lines in the table but that only the people responsible for a task (meaning a line) can edit their line. You can also choose that everyone you share your table with (or only a selected few) will see only their own tasks.
You no longer have to bother sending lengthy private messages when you assign a task to someone: just give them a line containing all the necessary information. It’s quick and efficient.
Play with column types to keep everything under control
In RowShare, you can edit column types:
- In the document column, you’ll be able to add an image. Really handy when you want all members to take a picture that represents your events and add it as a cover photo, or to share a party teaser!
- The link column allows you to insert other tables for the members to fill out, or links to other sites. That could be useful for carpooling or organizing accommodation during the integration weekend.
- Thanks to the RowShare handle column, you won’t need to add the name of the person in charge. It will be done automatically once you’ve assigned a task to someone.
So, no more Google Sheets or images and files that get buried left, right and center! You have everything under control, in just one single screen view!
Use predesigned templates!
You don’t know this yet, but the template I’ll be showing you includes hidden tables that you will be able to use. You’ll see, you are going to save loads of time…
- A list of forfeits for candidates to the Student’s Organization. You can add as many items as you want to this list!
- A table to organize transportation and accommodations during the integration weekend;
- A table for choosing a disguise (Halloween costume in this case);
And lots of other useful tables to set a date for the integration weekend, organize a stand or choose an outfit!
No more hassle: just use these tables, it’ll be much quicker!
Your move now!
In order to have your own follow-up table for planning all your events, all you have to do is go through the following steps. I will walk you through account setup, copying my table, customizing it if necessary, and then you’ll be ready to use it.
- First of all, and if you don’t already have a RowShare account, you’ll need to sign up. It only takes a few seconds. Click here
- You can access my table by clicking here
- Now, simply click on the “duplicate” button above the table.
- Then, click on the “settings’ icon to customize the title and the table’s description
- To add a new column, you have to press the “+” on top
- Specify the column type. Don’t worry, you just need to choose if this column will hold numbers, text, dates, email addresses. To learn more about Types, click here.
- As owner of the table, you can choose how visible the table are for everyone: read and write or only read. These authorizations will apply to all of your table’s users to whom you’ll send the link… except yourself, obviously. You’ll always be able to edit everything; it’s your table. Here, if you are a president in favor of participative work, but only to a certain extent (you want everyone to see everyone else’s tasks in addition to being able to edit their own) choose this rights below. Click here to learn more about Permissions.
If you want to assign a row to the person that you give a task, click on the red square, at the left of the wanted row. Then select “Assign Row” and insert the mail of the person you want to.In the example table, the “responsible” row is in type “text”. But you can modify the column “Responsible” in “Row Owner”.Thus, the responsible name will be displayed automatically.
Are you interested in preset tables such as this one to organize your integration weekend?
You’ll find them all in the last column on the left of my example, or simply (for the most useful ones) in the description. This way, when you copy my table without the data it contains, they’ll be easily accessible.
Then, you can choose to use them as you wish.
OK, so you have all the keys to a successful year as a member of the Student’s Office of your school/college. It’s your move now! Spread the word and help the other organizations by sharing this tool with them!