dmolnar dmolnar at hcs.harvard.edu
Wed May 17 23:04:47 EDT 2000

On Wed, 17 May 2000, Suhas Daftuar wrote:

> I'd expect the board to be thinking about next year's recruiting plans
> with an eye to sell the community-service side of the society.
> Except I haven't heard anything about any recruiting plans for next
> fall.

OK. Let's start talking about recruiting plans. 

Jay and I just finished scheduling next fall's Freshman Seminars. We're
going to be holding them with more or less the same schedule and format as
this year. We're in the Calendar of Opening Days. Pretty soon you'll see a
heads-up go out and a preliminary call for volunteers -- we don't have
much to offer in the way of perqs (meals in Annenberg before the houses
open!), but there's something deeply satisfying about indoctrinating a
room full of first-years. Try it and see!

That will give us exposure. What do we do to follow up? 

In my limited experience, we generally have a large general meeting. Lots
of people come. Some of them sign up for mailing lists and projects.
Others don't. A week or two goes by and then classes start -- and suddenly
that project just doesn't seem nearly as important as a problem set.
Especially if you're desperately struggling to stay afloat. 
I am at least as guilty of this as anyone -- the fact that we haven't had
more seminars this term is in large part my fault. Massive kudos to Jay
for keeping the PERL seminars on track. My consolation is that I will
be around this summer to make sure that Freshman Week happens. 

The early period is crucial for us. The HCS has to become *important* and
*fun* for new members in those first few weeks, so that when the crunch
hits, people will still spend time thinking about the HCS, working in the
office, coming to meetings, etc. Having a social aspect to the HCS is one
way of doing that; if all my friends are going to HCS events, then I'll
probably go too. Another way is to have a project that a member really
cares about. 

What can we do to make sure new members form that kind of a
bond with the HCS (for lack of a better term)?

Another thing -- what kind of time commitment does a member need to 
make a difference in the HCS? to be a part of the HCS? How "friendly" are 
we to people who are interested in what we do, but don't have that much

At the risk of being overly personal : 
I row. This takes up all of my afternoons, which means that as much as 
I'd like to, I can't make it to afternoon office hours or the "Day" 
programs. If it hadn't been for ucvote last year, I don't know _how_ 
I would have become involved with the HCS. 

The response I sometimes get when I point this out is "quit crew [and
stop whining]." Fine. I can understand this...but if I have to choose
one or the other, I'm as likely to drop HCS. 

What's it like for a new member in this kind of position? Can we make it
easier to choose HCS, and how? What kinds of activities will keep
people coming back, even if they only have evenings or weekends free?
How do we get it across to a new member that they don't *have* to make
the HCS the number one priority in their life to be a good member (or DO
they have to make HCS the number one priority) ?


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