Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Red & White Student OrganizationRensselaer Polytechnic Institute Office of Alumni Relations – The Red & White Student OrganizationRed & White Student Organization Website - http://redandwhite.alumni.rpi.edu/MissionThe Rensselaer Red & White Student Organization is a group of current students who represent Rensselaer at high-visibility functions. Red& White members serve as ambassadors for Rensselaer and represent the university to its constituency—alumni, the campus, and thecommunity. Red & White builds relationships with alumni and the community, generates pride in the university, and promotes studentawareness of the Rensselaer Alumni Association.Purpose StatementThe Red & White Student Organization was founded in 1995. There are currently 66 student members and one and a half alumni relationsstaff members advise the organization. The primary function of the membership is to interact with alumni and to build campus programs thateducate and share the traditions of Rensselaer. Members assist during all important campus alumni, development, and Presidential events.Red & White provides an excellent opportunity for students to interact and network with alumni, to make important contacts, and to sharpenleadership skills. Activities of the organization include Study Days @ the Heffner Alumni House, Culinary Engineering, Senior WelcomeBBQ, Investing for the Long Run, DJ Competition, participating in corporate executive visits, Reunion & Homecoming events, regionalprogramming, capital campaign events (both on-campus and throughout the country), etiquette dinners, campus tours for all alumni and alsoduring high level prospect visits, and professional development programs. Red & White builds relationships with alumni and the communitywhile generating pride in the Institute.The organization has three committees that members may join: Alum101 is series of programs throughout the senior year that guide seniors through the transition from student to alumni. The series allows students to gain the tools needed to grow personally and professionally as they enter the network of 95,000 RPI alumni. In 2010, the Red & White Student Organization, in conjunction with the Office of Alumni Relations, started the Traditions Program. The purpose of the program is to instill a sense of pride at Rensselaer by teaching students about the many current and historical traditions of RPI. Campus Relations is a series of programs sponsored by the Red & White Student Organization designed to provide interactive and fun activities for the entire campus. Programs to date include: Study Days @ the Heffner Alumni House, DJ Competition, Cookie Decorating, face painting at athletic events, and involvement with the Freshman Welcome BBQ.Red & White members are selected by their peers through a process which includes an application form, followed by interviews with theV.P. of Recruitment and members of the recruitment committee. The candidate is then recommended to the officers and either granted ordenied membership. On average the organization receives 80 applications and admits approximately 10-20 new members per semester.The Red & White Student organization has evolved greatly since 1995. It has grown to include more members, has become moreprestigious, and is participating and providing a greater number and variety of events. In return, Rensselaer gains a wonderful group ofcommitted ambassadors, who bring the message of the renaissance on campus to alumni and the community every day, and hopefully willcontinue their connection to Rensselaer well into the future.Red & White Overarching Goals Develop programs for members to interact with Rensselaer and its alumni to benefit all involved. Create programs and opportunities to educate members about Rensselaer and its activities. Provide valuable programs to the entire Rensselaer community, most importantly their student peers. Provide leadership opportunities to help the members and the students grow. Create opportunities for members to expand their network and connections. Encourage members to get the most out of their experiences in the organization, interact with one another, and have fun. Create an environment within the group that is welcoming to a diversity of Rensselaer students. Allow the members to stay engaged throughout their student experience, which fosters continued support to Rensselaer as volunteers and donors when they become alumni. Create an elite group of campus leaders by being selective during the recruitment process.
Organization InformationThe group is supported by the Red & White website, which was created and is maintained by student members. It includes lists of officers,members, upcoming events, event wrap-ups and photos, and miscellaneous organizational information. (http://redandwhite.alumni.rpi.edu)Several listserv has also been created to facilitate conversation between meetings.Red & White members have created a distinctive pin, organization nametags, and outerwear such as shirts, fleece apparel, and jackets fortheir members, which make them highly identifiable at any event.Social Media - The Red & White Student Organization is heavily involved with the use of social media. The organization currently hoststwo Facebook pages, one for the membership only and one for advertising programs and events(http://www.facebook.com/RPI.Red.and.White). The organization is also a heavy user of Twitter in order to communicate and pushinformation. There are currently two Twitter accounts, one for members only, where updates and special messages are sent regularly only tothe membership, and one is open for advertising and communicating our programs. (@rpiredandwhite)In order to ensure that all members have the most current information about Rensselaer and the campus, a handbook is provided to themembers containing information that is updated on an ongoing basis. There is also an orientation for all new members to introduce them tothe organization, provide policy information, and give the members an overall sense of what it means to be a Red & White member.The organization holds regularly scheduled organizational meetings: 62% of members consistently attend the meetings and attend events; aparticipation rate that has gone up exponentially. The president meets with the alumni relations advisor once per week to talk about upcoming events and projects Officers meet once a week with the president General meetings are held 4 times per semesterIn addition to the planning undertaken by the officers of Red & White, the Alumni Relations Office incorporates the Red & White StudentOrganization into the office’s performance plans.BudgetThe budget for the Red & White Student Organization is $8,000. The cost of student attendance at events is covered by the individualprograms.RecognitionThe Red & White Student Organization has been awarded with the CASE ASAP District 2 Most Outstanding Organization in 2012. CASEASAP Outstanding Organization in 2009. CASE National also recognized the organization for the Traditions Tour with Honorable Mentionin 2010. The organization also won the 2005 CASE Circle of Excellence Award - Silver Medal.Red & White Programming: Three example programs run by the organizationStudy Days @ the Heffner Alumni House – http://redandwhite.alumni.rpi.edu/studydays/ Study Days @ the Heffner Alumni House is a two-day program managed by the Red & White Student Organizations that runs from 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. and provides a very unique venue on campus for all students to study for final exams during the two days the Institute designates as “study days.” The Heffner Alumni House is used by the Rensselaer community for special events and meetings, and the building is home to the Red & White Student Organization. The Heffner Alumni House is also used for most major on-campus alumni events. Study Days @ the Heffner Alumni House utilized the building as an additional study space during finals week. Opening the Heffner Alumni House allowed students who do not normally come into the building to see the facility, to be introduced to the Alumni House and its role on campus, and to feel welcome into a campus building that may be unfamiliar. Program planners hoped that 100 students would utilize the space over the course of the program. The goal of the program was as follows: To promote the Red & White Student Organization to the Rensselaer community. To utilize the Heffner Alumni House as a study space for current students. To provide a Red & White sponsored event that served the general student population. To bring students into the Heffner Alumni House to allow them to become familiar with their alumni “home.” To collaborate with other student organizations and departments on campus to provide study support. To provide a unique space for students to use during “study days,” since quiet study space is at a premium during this time. To provide spaces within the Heffner Alumni House that would support different study styles. Results
Study Days @ the Heffner Alumni House has built a reputation beyond what anyone expected. On average Study Days @ the Heffner Alumni House hosts 500-600 students from across all years. Consistently the feedback from students is to offer the program for more days and to have it happen more often throughout the semester.Traditions Tour The Traditions Tour is a scavenger-hunt style activity that guides students through campus to unique locations, showcasing traditions along the way. Stops allow first-year students to discover customs such as “hockey line,” learn cheers for sporting events and the alma mater, and become acquainted with campus history and lore. Students are led by Red & White members, while young alumni rotate to join each group to give the new students some insight into their Rensselaer experience. At each location students are greeted by alumni from a range of class years (from the 50s to the Class of 2011) who introduce the traditions from all eras. At each location, students receive puzzle pieces, which they arrange to form the alma mater at the end of the day. In addition to six 45- minute stops during the day, students are treated to a “Taste of Troy” lunch, featuring food from the various local restaurants they will become familiar with while at Rensselaer. The day ends with the assembly of the teams’ puzzle, and the group singing of the alma mater. Students leave the program with some fun prizes, new friends, and a sense of the history and tradition they are now a part of. This program fills to capacity since its inception.Alumni Tours - http://redandwhite.alumni.rpi.edu/alumni/ The members of the Red & White Student Organization offer private tours to any alumnus/a who is returning to campus. This service is a unique opportunity for alumni who are returning to campus to have a personalized tour with a current student. The tours match members with alumni from their particular major or career interest areas, and allow the alumnus/a to hear about todays campus, while the student receives a historical perspective of the Institute. Unless an alumnus/a specifies a particular interest area, tours are a comprehensive walk-through of the entire campus. Alumni are asked to share stories of what the campus used to be like, as they learn about what is new on campus today. Tours are advertised through the Alumni website and through e-mail newsletters from the Office of Alumni Relations.Challenges faced by the OrganizationThe Red & White Student Organization has experienced many challenges within the organization over the years, but these challenges arefaced by the leadership team in Red & White and are used to continue to build a stronger organization. In the past year, one challenge theRed & White Organization has faced is creating awareness and name recognition of their prestigious organization to the campus communityand their peers. Many Red & White member voiced their opinion that the organization needed to get the name “Red & White” morerecognizable, that way when they are talking to their peers or staff on campus, the organization doesn’t need to be explained.The president of the organization along with the officers and advisor looked at the organization as a whole, and decided the best way tocontinue to build awareness of the organization was to create new programs that showcase the organization. The creation of the threecommittees, Alum101, Traditions, and Campus Relations are all intended to bring programs to campus sponsored by the Red & WhiteStudent Organization. Today, the organization is often called upon by other student organization to collaborate on other student activities.The members of the organization are known on campus as some of the top leaders at the Institute, and are often recognized around campus asthe premiere organization on campus. This new position is continuing to reshape the organization’s future and promoting the organization.This effort has also helped in the recruitment process as we continue to try to find the appropriate students to be part of the organization.Leadership TeamRed & White Leadership positions (full description of duties below) consist of: President Executive Director of Alum101 Web Coordinator Vice President for Recruitment Executive Director of Traditions Information Coordinator Vice President for Alumni Relations Executive Director of Campus Communications Coordinator Vice President for Membership Relations New Member Coordinator Vice President for Marketing & Tour Coordinator Outreach Recruitment Committee CoordinatorOfficer Positions and Job DutiesPresident: Serves as a member of the RAA Board of Trustees; serves on the Rensselaer Alumni Hall of Fame Selection Committee;oversees all Vice President Positions to make sure the organization continues to move forward; runs monthly general member meetings;works with advisor every other week to move organization forward; oversees yearly election processVice President for Recruitment: Presiding authority over complete recruitment process and efforts; responsible for drafting the application;responsible for drafting the interview standards; receives applications via email and assembles applicant folders; setup of interviewavailabilities; meet for applicant and member review process; new member orientation meeting and induction dinner; complete follow-upevaluation for new members
Vice President for Alumni Relations: Works with Alumni Relations toprovide Red & White participation at events; oversees Tour Coordinatorand Information Manager; provides event information, training, andscheduling to members; sends listserv messages of upcoming events;selects members for events and coordinates with event contact person;records member responses and attendance for events; gathersfeedback/success stories with surveys following eventsVice President for Marketing and Outreach: Works on strategicpublicity for the group; oversees Webmaster and CommunicationsCoordinator; positions the organization through different outlets to buildawareness on campus; updates social media sites, creates new ideas thatwill help to promote Red & White; keeps the organization up-to-date withnew campus information that the organization should be aware of. Alsoserves as liaison between the Executive Directors and the Vice Presidentsand President.Vice President for Membership: Organizes a community service eventand social events in order to build excitement and relationships within theorganization. Also responsible for the Information Coordinator and theMentor Coordinator. The position is responsible for maintainingmembership involvement.Executive Director of Alum101: Responsible for overseeing theAlum101 committee, its program and initiatives; organizes programmingfor Alum101 and creates new programs that help to build the transition forseniors to alumni.Executive Director of Traditions: Responsible for overseeing the Traditions committee, its program and initiatives; including the planningof the Traditions Tour during Navigating Rensselaer and Beyond, working with the Freshman Fifteen Program, writing Traditions articles forthe school newspaper.Executive Director of Campus Relations: Responsible for overseeing the Campus Relations committee, its program and initiatives;including the promotion of programs that market the organization.Information Coordinator: Maintains overall organization database; adds new members to listserv; coordinates and keeps track ofattendance at meetings; sends out meeting minutes to webmaster to update the website after each monthly meeting, reserves the HeffnerAlumni House for meetings; tracks overall attendance and provides the president with a list of members who are inactive.Web Coordinator: Maintains the entire Red & White website; works with the Information Manager to be sure all information on thewebsite is updated; arranges for electronic applications; manages Facebook group.Tour Coordinator: Receives requests for all tours; provides tour information, training, and scheduling to members for tour; sends listservmessages of upcoming tours; selects members for tours and coordinates with event contact person; makes sure members who are doing toursare updated on any new important campus information; takes part in the overall orientation and trains members on tour tips/information.Communications Coordinator: Facilitates communication between committees and general body; provides meeting minutes toorganization for Vice President and Executive Director meetings; sends electronic newsletter to members after general body meetings,manages all forms of Social Media used by the organization, maintains and coordinates pictures from membersNew Member Coordinator: Matches new members with mentors; provides mentor initiatives and ideas.