The Difficulties of a Small College

As if being tasked to build a chapter from scratch wasn’t challenging, doing so at a small community college presents it’s own unique difficulties that need to be overcome. As a result of working first hand in a state campaign and spending my fair share of time on some of the larger campuses I can tell you the difference is night and day.

Let’s face it. Building a chapter is a form of sales. We are selling our ideas and principles to the students in the hope that they join. Ultimately sales is a numbers game. If you talk to 100 people some are bound to join. It’s simple math.

The larger universities offer a bustling community, with events, Greek life and plenty of opportunities to recruit new members. The community college however is a very different experience. Not only are there fewer students but the culture is altogether distinct. Students are usually older and have work outside of school. Most students commute from home. As a result this leads to an environment where students are merely rushing to and from class with no loitering on campus. Between classes there is really not much to be done by a recruiter. Even campus events are unorganized and improperly promoted. This ultimately limits ones ability to actively clipboard or table on campus.

Thankfully being introduced to graph searching has helped in reaching out to potential prospects. However even there there are few prospects to fill ones pipeline.

This has led to a few set backs in building my own chapter. After having set our initial meeting and then a second I have still yet to get anyone to show up. This is why numbers are key. No shows are to be expected. We account for this by inviting more people. Something that’s difficult to do with so few contacts.

This shouldn’t be seen as a negative thing, however. These challenges are to be expected. Only by stating the problems that we face can we start to work on overcoming them. It’s thanks to the support of my state chair that i have slowly pushed through some of these problems. Turning to graph search as an alternative to clip boarding for example. While our first meetings were nothing short of a disaster, this gives us an opportunity to look back at what we’ve accomplished once these challenges are inevitably overcome.

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