Freshers’ week is a key time to attract new members to your society and raise your profile. There will be lots of stalls, events and opportunities for students once they reach university. So get organised and make sure you stand out from the crowd. Here are SCM’s top ten tips to help you get started.
Trying to live out God’s mission and be disciples can seem daunting, but the Holy Spirit is here to guide us, love us and dust us off after we make mistakes. Pray for Gods guidance and presence as you prepare for the next academic year. Pray with your student exec and read the Bible often to find source and strength in the living Word.
Have a planning session with your society before term ends and delegate out tasks such as poster making, organising the programme, finding a venue etc. All of these little things are important, but can get squeezed out when people come back to university and get busy again. Most importantly, don’t forget to book your Freshers’ stall. Student Unions often require you to book your stall before you break up for summer, so check their policy and get your application in before they run out of space.
Make a term card
Having an exciting programme that is varied and accessible gives new students an idea of what to expect and shows what you do on a weekly basis. Lots of students have basic questions about faith and life such as ‘Who is God?’ ‘What is spirituality?’ ‘Who is Jesus?’ ‘Should I read the Bible?’ ‘How can I be a good person?’. So keep your topics broad, accessible and don’t assume any knowledge.
Make your values clear
The Student Christian Movement exists to unite Christians to worship God as one community, act for justice and create a new generation of leaders for the Church. Quite often our societies will get asked why they’re different to CUs or other Christian societies on campus. SCM societies are not in competition, but compliment other Christian societies as we offer something special and unique. We are one body of Christ with many parts, so be proud of who you are and don’t be afraid to say what you stand for.
Show the bigger picture
SCM is part of the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF) which engages over 2 million students in 107 countries world wide. Your society may feel small, but you’re part of an exciting and dynamic global movement of Christian students who are worshipping God and loving their neighbour. Students who join your society can have the opportunity to go to European conferences each term, engage with the World Council of Churches and take part in global exchanges. This autumn SCM will be going on tour, so why not book us in to lead your welcome evening in Freshers week?
Get sign ups
Make sure you have a sign up sheet on your stall to get new contacts. Emails are often lost because hand written emails are easy to misread, so use a laptop or tablet if you can to collect the information. National SCM has amazing programmes, events, leadership opportunities and conferences that we want your members to hear about. Students and recent graduates can become an SCM member for just £1. If you’re signing up members for your society, why not add £1 to your fee and make them a member of national SCM as well? All you need to do is send us their contact details and the money after Freshers and we’ll keep them up to date with the latest news, events and opportunities from across the globe. We can provide membership forms for you to use.
Connect to Churches
Church is an important part of faith formation and a living embodiment of Christ on earth. Only ¼ of Christian students attend a church while they are at university. Having a little guide of Churches or organising a Church-crawl in the first few weeks of term can help people find a new home and Christian family. Check and see if your chaplaincy has made a church guide, as they may give you copies to give out for free.
Start simple. 1) Make a simple website on wordpress.com or get a page on your student union website for your society. 2) Make an email list and send out weekly email reminders of meetings, events and socials. 3) Make a texting list and text everyone on the day to remind them of events. 4) Get a Facebook Group so your members can communicate. 5) Use Twitter to advertise your events and tag your students union and @SCM_Britain so we can help publicise your society.
Order your resources!
SCM has lots of resources for you to use on your Freshers’ stall including banners, bunting, coasters, fridge magnets, postcards, sign-up sheets, membership forms, flyers, Movement Magazine and more. Get in touch with the SCM office to order your Freshers’ Pack now!
Do the follow-up
Don’t forget to send National SCM your photos, email sign-ups and membership forms.