Connect Virtually: Group Operations
Zoom is a great way to “meet up” with your friends, classmates, and student organization members. Check out these tips for utilizing Zoom.
Are you a leader of a student organization on campus? Check out these tips for connecting virtually with your organization:
Utilize Your Group’s RamPulse Page
For a brief overview of the organization tools you can manage and use, click here.
Did you know you can message your group through RamPulse? Click here to find out more!
Do you, or your members, not have access to certain tools needed? Not receiving messages from your group’s RamPulse? You or your primary contact may need to help. Here’s a tutorial of how to update your organization’s roster, officer positions, and group messaging.
The Documents tool allows you to create a shared storage space for important organizational files. You can share these files publicly or only with certain members or Position holders within your organization. You must be either the Primary Contact of your organization or an officer with full access to Documents to upload files to your organization. For a Documents Overview, click here.
Tips for Running Virtual Meetings
- Test out your technology before the start of the meeting. Work with a friend to test out your meeting platform to make sure everything works.
- Opt for video calling. While not everyone loves the idea of video calls, they increase connection and community. When possible, choose video calling for a more personal approach to staying connected. Note that in cases where reception is bad, you may have to switch off video calling.
- Start each meeting with an icebreaker where everyone gets to share. If there are a lot of participants, consider using the chat features for people to respond and share.
- Stick to set times. Set standard weekly times meetings should take place for consistency. We recommend, keeping with the regular times you had prior to going remote.
- Set clear agendas, outcomes, and action items. We recommend using Google docs as a way of creating living agendas where people can see updates in real time and items as the meeting goes along. At the end of every meeting, be sure to articulate clear action items and next steps.
- Create new roles and rotate responsibilities. Think about daily and weekly tasks such as taking meeting minutes and rotate these amongst members to stay engaged. Additionally, consider forming new and creative subcommittees that can work on projects in more intimate chat groups.
- Get buy-in. Make sure to create space for allowing others to provide thoughts and input. It’s important to ask things like “what do people think of this?” or “does anyone have anything to add?” Be okay with some silence on the other end as some people may need additional time to think.
- Meet one-on-one. If you are in a leadership role within your organization, consider scheduling one on one check-ins with other Executive Board leaders and members. This is a great way to maintain connection and be able to accommodate the different needs of your group.
- Centralize organization documents. Consider utilizing your group’s RamPulse page under Documents to share information with your organization in a timely, adjustable fashion.
Tips for Organizing
Make sure that your group’s roster on RamPulse is up to date (remove all former or graduated members and make sure that you have managed the roster to give all officers appropriate titles and permissions to add documents, manage files, etc.)
Centralize organization documents. All of your groups’s documents, minutes, bylaws, etc. can be saved to folders on your group’s RamPulse page and easily accessed by all your group members on your roster or restricted to view by only select individuals on your roster.
Consider a communication channel and set expectations. Many groups utilize a centralized platform or app as directed by their national organizations. This can help keep everyone up-to-date and help avoid the confusing text message chain. However, also remember that the RamPulse messaging feature may send messages out to your organization as well.
Tips for Engaging Members
While ensuring you continue to meet the mission and purpose of your organization is important, it’s also important to recognize that much of what your organization does is social, connecting students to one another. Even in a virtual environment, there are lots of ways to help people connect informally and socially. Here are some ideas:
Host a daily check-in or kick-off for members. This may be focused on organization-related items, or an opportunity to just wish everyone a great day!
Host virtual office hours outside of meetings for more personal connections and conversations.
Create a regular newsletter or posts on the news features section of your RamPulse page. There are a number of great resources such as Constant Contact and MailChimp that allow you to create free electronic newsletters. This can be a great way to keep members up-to-date with the activities of the organization. Consider adding trivia questions or fun challenges to make the newsletter more interactive.
Virtual Service opportunities
- 7Cups: Be an online LISTENER – The training takes around 30 minutes to complete. Your progress will be saved, so if you have to stop partway, just log back in to continue from where you left off.
- Amnesty Decoders: A network of digital volunteers helping research and expose human rights violations.
- Autoimmune Registry: Write a disease profile and help the Autoimmune Registry create a single source of help for those with any of the 140+ autoimmune diseases.
- Be My Eyes: Be My Eyes is a free mobile app with one main goal: to make the world more accessible for blind and low-vision people. The app connects blind and low-vision individuals with sighted volunteers and companies from all over the world through a live video call.
- CareerVilliage: You sign up as a Professional on CareerVillage.org, specify your skill sets, and match students’ questions to you. You will be notified by email when requests for advice are posted that are relevant to your expertise
- Charity Miles: Download the app, choose a charity that matters to you (or your chapter), open the app and move! For every mile you walk or run, you help earn money for the charity of choice, which is funded by a corporate sponsorship pool. You can also get sponsored by your friends.
- Crisis Text Line: requires a commitment of 4 hours per week until 200 hours are reached as well as a required training period before being able to volunteer. Work as an online counselor for a crisis hotline.
- Distributed Proofreaders: Volunteer to proofread and help convert Public Domain OCRs of books into ebooks!
- LibriVox: Read books written before 1923 and convert them into AudioBooks
- Missing Maps: Volunteers are asked to map some of the most vulnerable areas on Earth, so that crisis teams can respond whenever there is a natural or humanitarian disaster more efficiently. Helping this organization and its partners (which includes the Red Cross and Médecins Sans Frontières) is as simple as looking at satellite images on your computer and then adding buildings and roads to maps.
- School in the Cloud: Have Skype sessions with children abroad to inspire them, provide guidance, answer general life questions, and provide encouragement
- Smithsonian Digital Transcription: Become a Smithsonian Digital Volunteer and help us make historical documents and biodiversity data more accessible. Join 14,633 “volunteers” to add more to the total 514,253 pages of field notes, diaries, ledgers, logbooks, currency proof sheets, photo albums, manuscripts, biodiversity specimens labels.
- Translators Without Borders: You must be fluent in at least one other language other than your native language. You can translate a wide variety of things as there are many projects to choose from on their site. Must apply to participate.
- Zooniverse: People-powered biology and species based research done as a collaborative group.
Virtual Activities & Programming
Health & Wellness
- Counseling Services is still offering free, confidential virtual appointments. Visit their RamPulse page to request an appointment under Forms!
- Planet Fitness FB Page – At Home Workouts
- Down Dog – Yoga App
- Headspace – Mindfulness App
- Peloton – Fitness App (no equip needed)
- Daily Burn – Fitness App
- Yoga with Adrienne-Yoga Videos
- Fitness Blender-Workout Videos
- FitOn Fitness Workout App
- Tasty – Recipes
- CorePower Yoga
- YouTube channel Zook Dance Fitness
- UCLA Health’s downloadable guided mindfulness meditation downloadable guided in English and Spanish
Social & Leisure
- Online Video Games
- New York Public Library – Free E-Books
- Virtual Disney Ride Tours
- Have a Netflix Party with friends while watching your favorite shows together!
- Create a collaborative playlist with your friends or jam out to Rita Wilson’s Quarantunes playlist.
- Take up a new hobby such as making towel animals, crocheting, or choose from thousands of other tutorial videos on YouTube
- Check out the 25 Most Interesting Webcams of 2018
- Animal webcams:
Arts & Culture
- Google Arts and Culture
- 15 Broadway plays and musicals that you can watch on stage from home
- Check out this list of 11 Musical TV Shows
- Watch an Opera for free with the Metropolitan Opera
- Listen to a live recording from the Seattle Symphony
- Print off a free printable coloring page from the “Color Our Collections” campaign with coloring sheets from over 100 museums and libraries from around the world.
- Virtual Concerts Online
- Online Music Festivals & Events Calendar
- The Louvre
- National Gallery of Art
- Metropolitan Museum of Art
- National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea
- Van Gogh Museum
- National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City
- British Museum
- Go on a virtual field trip to Ellis Island
- Take a live look at Colonial Williamsburg
- Tour England through this 360 video
- Virtually discover Yellowstone National Park and 5 other National Parks thanks to virtual reality (and Google)!
- Talk a walk on the Great Wall of China
- Check out the view from Pompeii through Google Maps
- Explore the surface of Mars on the Curiosity Rover