Clubs and Socs Alumni

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This is a page to help combine a few ideas about keeping Alumni involved in clubs and socs activity.


Questions


  • Are we interested in only a clubs and socs initiative, or a general alumni initiative? (if that were possible)
 - I think if we are genuinely interested in giving positive 
 suggestions DCU as alumnus we need to realise that student 
 affairs issues/DCU campus issues/clubs & society issues are all 
 inextricably linked to student life in DCU and therefore we 
 should certainly be interested in a more global general alumni 
 initiative... but I realise we do have to start somewhere.
  • Are we okay with working directly with the college on this, or do we want to keep it student-centred and separate from the Alumni office?
 -The new Alumni Officer (barbara.wiseman@dcu.ie) would like to work
 on a joint initiative. Would this strengthen our work or undermine
 it?
 -I cant see how being seperate from the Alumni office would be of 
 any benefit whatsoever in   this case. Would that not be, 
 in effect, forming an informal Alumni 'office'. I think in this 
 case, lets stick with the alumni office... they have money!:)


  • Why would alumni be interested in getting involved in helping DCU? (It sounds cynical but it's a genuine question, the underlying assumption on this page seems to be "If you build it, they will come")

Brainstorming


Just getting started with this, throw down any ideas you have:

  • An Alumni Clubs & Socs Evening, encouraging them to come back, re-join and talk to DCU societies
 - This could be done by the SPC in conjunction with the Alumni Office
 - Societies could treat it, like C&S Day, as a once-off, high-traffic 
 occassion when they sell membership benefits to Alumni. It gets them more 
 cash and a dedicated list of alums to call on.
 - Crucially, this all encourages societies to think about alumni 
 and to form their own independent list of oldies who have shown    
 genuine interest, rather than spamming the all-graduates list etc.
 - Should this be done outside of DCU, maybe in town, maybe 
 supported by DCU?
  • Working with the DCU Alumni Relations Officer on projects
 Possible suggestions for her to work on are:
 - An FAQ on what DCU Alumni are offered by the college (purely because 
 it will make her think about how little is actually offered and might 
 spur her on to change that)
 - Discounted postgraduate courses / further education for Alumni, 
 to encourage more study at DCU?
  • A LinkedIn/OpenBC style contacts website specific to DCU, to categorise alumni & their DCU contacts
  • An official list of DCU societies/clubs with active Alumni membership (Redbrick a good example)
 - This would be a very simple thing to do, and easily integrated
 into life.dcu.ie or advertised in the Alumni magazine.
  • An Alumni Liaison position on clubs/socs committees
 - an extra committee position electing a current student to be 
 responsible for linking the society with its alumni/ associates.   
 - Or an official Alumni Advisor position. Similar to 
 the ‘President’s’ role in a society, alumni could be a point of 
 advice/ guidance/ support/ networks that would help 
 societies/clubs or even the union grow. They meet periodically 
 with their nominated society the help them grow. 
 - how would this happen? would it be an optional position? 
 (Barbara is meeting with Brian, Peter and Lisa about discussing 
 this)
  • "Alumni talks" series, possible monthly talk from an Alumni on a topic, could be archived
  • Alumni involvement in Clubs and Socs awards?
 - presently there is an alumni table at the Awards sponsored by the
 Alumni Office. What about the past winners coming back to present 
 Awards? 
  • Alumni have a lot of experience, useful for training etc.
 - Could be a sign-up database for people interested and willing
 - Barbara has offered to help maintain this, but should be the SAO
 position that does this?
  • Could there be an alumni club in the centre of Dublin somewhere? (far-fetched I know)
 - What would this club be for? What would alumni do there?

Good Idea


Why is some sort of alumni involvement in a club or society a *good idea*?

  • Why it's a good idea for alumni
    • It's a good way for alumni to keep in touch with each other, DCU doesn't really facilitate that
  • Why it's a good idea for clubs & socs
    • Alumni are coming back to DCU to help out with Clubs & Socs independently, and for free
    • Alumni have a lot of experience & advice to give & could really enhance growth of club/soc
 - Both of the below are more brainstorming than concrete reasons 
 under this heading, aren't they?
  • An Alumni group could leverage useful extras from the Alumni office, in addition to "giving back" in itself
  • C&S involvement by Alumni is the most likely starting point in building a strong Alumni-College relationship in general and may prompt bodies outside of the SPC and SCC to think about how they can engage the graduate community, rather than just how they can milk it for cash

Bad Idea


Why is some sort of alumni involvement in a club or society a *bad idea*?

  • Why it's a bad idea for alumni
    • Won't DCU just try to use this to fleece people for donations? (probably - but alumni would be donating "time" and "experience" rather than money! DCU may need this concept explained to them repeatedly, possibly with the aid of hand puppets, but hopefully should get it in the end.)
 - Actually, the new Alumni Officer, Barbara, seems very clear 
 about this, and she specifically mentioned she was very keen to get
 alumni back to help with the mentoring and careers programme, or 
 training. But hand puppets might still be a good move
 - If alumni hate the idea of giving money, or even being called 
 about giving money, what will make them like the idea of giving 
 time/experience for free?
 [ People get feedback from giving time & experience to other 
 people. They don't get feedback from giving money. In other words,
 when they give time and experience, they get something back in 
 return. ]
  • Why it's a bad idea for clubs & socs
    • Most of the power needs to be with the ordinary members, it'd be bad if the oldies were throwing their weight around years after they've left
    • Who's going to pay for all this lark? Current DCU students?
 - Can't be current students. The DCU Alumni Office has a certain 
 budget for activites related to an Alumni Association. Some of it 
 would have to be self-funding I guess.
 [ There is no problem with current students paying under this 
 Alumni Office funding model: current students eventually become
 alumni after all and then benefit, it's a cycle. Same way past 
 students paid for present facilities. Apart from all this, funding 
 needed would be minimal to start with anyway ]
 - I really really don't think this can or should be done. Ethically
 it's at best dodgy (I certainly wouldn't be able to support it) 
 and legally there are restrictions on capitation which render it 
 impossible. The gym was a separate fee levied (and all students 
 voted to do so), whereas capitation is protected [Riona]
 - I don't know if this sounds like alumni running the show a bit
 too much.. getting the college to start charging students to fund 
 events for alumni? It's especially silly since alumni in theory 
 have more money than students. The difference with the example of 
 the new gym etc is that it was aimed at future students, who would
 be equally unable to pay for it. 
 I think a better way would be for the university to put a larger 
 initial investment in, and follow that up with raising money from 
 alumni which would pay for the alumni office to keep going and 
 keep organising events. Ideally, if alumni fund raising takes off 
 (which is every bit as reasonable an assumption as alumni 
 attending events or giving their time to organise events), then 
 eventually it would pay for itself and the college wouldn't have 
 to contribute any funds.