Make a Difference on Campus (Part 2)

Written by: Johny

As Part 1 of this blog series stated, there are many ways to make a positive impact in the world by leveraging the influential power of youth and community. Colleges and universities provide the appropriate environment to create grassroots movements and to raise awareness about the multiple issues that plague the people of the world. Here are 7 non-governmental organizations that have made it very easy to get involved in initiatives around campus. Check them out and get ready to be the change you want to see in the world.

1- ONE

“The ONE Campus Challenge (OCC) is an intercollegiate competition designed to mobilize students in the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease. Through life-saving actions, creative challenges and educational events, college students, professors, alumni and friends join together and urge political leaders to support smart and effective programs that save lives and improve futures for generations to come.”

2- Keep A Child Alive

“The Keep a Child Alive College Program inspires college-aged students and alumni to be the grass-roots soldiers of our movement and spread the mission of KCA to their college campuses. We give you the power to decide what works best for your town or campus to raise the most funds possible for KCA and spread awareness of the global HIV/AIDS pandemic that has claimed 30 million lives.”

3- OXFAM America

OXFAM America’s CHANGE develops capable leaders, who are informed voices for positive social change, and who inspire greater global awareness in others. CHANGE Leaders are introduced to the social justice issues directly related to Oxfam America’s mission; and are supported by Oxfam staff as they undertake Oxfam campaigns on their campuses and in their communities.”

4- Stop The Traffick

Active Communities against Trafficking (ACT) groups are groups of people who meet together regularly to look at how they can reduce human trafficking in their area.

Anyone can start an ACT group, you can do it with people you know or find new people to join. Some ACT groups are started in universities and colleges as part of student forums and some are within specific city’s, towns or villages.”

5- Take Back The Night

“The Take Back The Night Foundation serves to create safe communities and respectful relationships through awareness events and initiatives. We seek to end sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual abuse and all other forms of sexual violence. TBTN empowers survivors in the healing process and inspires responsibility in all.”

6- Unite For Sight

Unite For Sight supports eye clinics worldwide by investing human and financial resources in their social ventures to eliminate patient barriers to eye care. Unite For Sight applies best practices in eye care, public health, volunteerism, and social entrepreneurship to achieve our goal of high-quality eye care for all.”

7- V-Day

“Over the past thirteen years, V-Day’s grassroots activists have proven that, when offered the structure and tools to end violence against women in a creative way, they will eagerly embrace the opportunity. Through V-Day’s College and Community Campaigns, thousands of motivated individuals across the globe have hosted V-Day events, using The Vagina Monologues and other artistic pieces to raise money for local organizations working to end violence against women and girls, as well as heightening awareness in their communities about the global epidemic of gender-based violence.”

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How Students Can Fight The Freshman 15

Written by: Johny

If you are not aware of the phenomenon that is the “Freshman 15″, here is how the folks on Urban Dictionnary have described it:

“Another name for the college freshman class; given to the freshman class because in the first year of college, students will usually eat more than usual and not exercise as much, thus gaining weight (usually about 15 pounds)

Sophomore: I just joined the gym… I have to try to work off the Freshman 15.

“Freshman 15″ is an expression commonly used by college students in Canada and in the U.S. In Australia and in New Zealand, you may have heard the term “First Year Fatties”. It is common belief that first year college students are likely to stack up about 15 more pounds on their high school graduation weight. Although studies have argued that the number is closer to 2-3 pounds than to 15, the fact still stands that there is “noticeable” weight gain in the first few years following high school. This year, the Class of 2016 will have to deal with it. Schools in the U.S and in Canada are actively working to decrease the obesity rates in the college halls by providing healthier alternatives and by increasing awareness to health problems caused by smoking and drinking.

Your organization may have a very powerful role to play when it comes to food choices and to healthy lifestyle adoption to improve overall student health on campus. Here are some initiatives your organization can take to fight the evil “Freshman 15″ stigma and improve health education.



1- Lobby cafeteria services to provide healthy alternatives

2- Educate students on the benefits of eating healthy

3-  Raise awareness on the health consequences of “fast food”

4- Improve cooking facilities in residence halls to discourage students from ordering suspect food from the corner restaurant at 3AM.

5- Inform students on the “Night Eating Syndrom”



6- Lobby to create smoke-free zones on campus (eg. 9 ft away from building entrances)

7- Educate students on the risks of smoking and second-hand smoke



8- Improve study spaces on campus

9-  Make yourself available to give tips to freshmen on how to adapt with the new college environment

10- Provide and promote good lifestyle extracurricular activities: yoga, meditation, etc.



11- Discourage binge drinking parties by informing students on its risks (good luck…)

12- Inform students on the calorie values of different alcohols



13- Inform the students on the location of the sports facilities on campus

14- Organize high-energy activities on campus to encourage calorie burning

15- Educate the students on the health effects of exercise on your sleeping habits, on your brain functions, on your cardiovascular and immune systems.


The bottom line is the following: stay active, eat healthy and stay on top of your student duties. If the “Freshman 15″ is a myth or not is still up for debate. It is however always good to keep all students (freshman or not) informed on the health issues that are increasingly weighing (no pun intended) on the students around the world.

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The Importance of Social Media in Student Job Searching

Written by: Johny

The summer semester is winding down and some students will start looking for employment opportunites. Many organizations on campus will start organizing career fairs, industry talks, interview training sessions and CV building events. All of these events are meant to increase students’ chances of landing their dream jobs in the company of their choice. For graduating students, finding employment in their field of study will be no piece of cake. If your organization is one that will organize career events on campus, there is one factor that you need to take into account: the job searching landscape has changed tremendously in the past couple of years. This is in part due to the omnipresence of social media in our lives. You might be surprised to hear that employers increasingly use social media to find the right candidate to fill their open positions. Here is a little insight, compiled by Career Enlightement in 2011, on how companies use social media to recruit new employees:

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The Value of Integrity in Your Student Organization

Written by: Johny

Integrity is one of the most important value to preserve in an organization at any level. Failure to abide by the laws and constitutions of the umbrella association regulating your organization can have important consequences. It is essential that your organization always stays clear of breaching any rule. College organizations who decide to deviate from the right path can be hit with severe repercussions. Here is an example of a college organization that failed to respect the rules and had to pay dearly for their lack of judgement:

The Penn State University football program has been one of the most prestigious in the United States of America in the past several decades. A total of 111 wins were amassed between 1998 and 2011 thanks to a very fine football program headed by legendary coach Joe Paterno and assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. However, in November 2011, it was revealed that the program had breached the NCAA constitutions and rules. Assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was accused of sexual abuse in several cases over the past years. Personnel of the rest of the coaching staff had also helped these actions to occur by keeping quiet on accusations that were put forth.  The NCAA Division I Board of Directors and NCAA Executive Committee had Association President Mark Emmert on the case to determine the sanction to impose the program for their “football first” mentality. The sanction details were discovered on the morning of July 23rd, 2012.  In summary:

- A 40-scholarship reduction over four years

- School fined $60 million

- A free pass for any player who wants to transfer

- All wins from 1998-2011 vacated

- A four-year football postseason ban

This is a steep price to pay for breaking the rules. When you are ready to join or to create your student organization, gather all of the information you can to make sure you are on top of everything! Be aware of all of the do’s and don’ts so you never have to answer for violating any school policy.

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Positive Impact of Non-Governmental Organizations On Campus (Part 1)

Written by: Johny

Many students on campus have the willpower to improve the environment of the communities they are in but simply don’t know how they can have a significant impact. There are many answers for them! One avenue could be non-governmental organizations on campus. Many local, national and international non-governmental organizations encourage students to implement campus campaigns to foster grassroot movements in the colleges they are attending. Students can decide to become eventual NGO campus ambassadors.  Often times, these students decide to go through the process of creating clubs, to represent these organizations on site. Here are examples of non-governmental organizations that are often represented on campuses in the U.S.:


1- American Red Cross - neutral humanitarian care to the victims of war

“Whether you are looking to continue your Red Cross service from high school, or excited to learn more about the Red Cross as a new service opportunity, a Red Cross campus club is a great way to do so. As a campus club you have the ability to address key national and international issues. These issues can range from helping to alleviate the ever present blood shortage in America by running a blood drive, to fighting measles in Africa or by responding to local or national disasters. A campus club allows you to address these issues in incredibly creative ways that are targeted and make sense for your community.”


2- Amnesty International - end grave abuses of human rights

“There is no better way to become involved in global issues than to organize a student group on your campus. By becoming a registered student group with Amnesty International you are on your way to shining the light on human rights!”


3- Active Minds - change the conversation about mental health on college campuses

“Through campus-wide events and national programs, Active Minds aims to remove the stigma that surrounds mental health issues, and create a comfortable environment for an open conversation about mental health issues on campuses throughout North America.”


4- Autism Speaks - dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism

“Launched in 2008, Autism Speaks U is a program designed to support college students in their awareness, advocacy and fundraising efforts for Autism Speaks. It is an exciting and collaborative way for students to get involved with Autism Speaks and support their local autism community.”


5- Colleges Against Cancer - eliminate cancer

Colleges Against Cancer gives students the opportunity to bring the fight against cancer to the campus, while receiving support and guidance from a local Society office.  With currently more than 450 chapters nationwide, thousands of college students are making an impact on their campuses and the surrounding communities.  Cities are becoming smoke-free, legislation protecting cancer patients is being passed, and hundreds of thousands of college students across the country are learning cancer education and prevention information – knowledge that will promote a cancer-free future.  But, there is still much to be done, and we invite you to join in our efforts to eliminate cancer by starting a CAC chapter on your campus.”


6- Habitat for Humanities - a world where everyone has a decent place to live

“A campus chapter is a student-led, student-initiated organization on a high school or college campus that partners with the local Habitat for Humanities affiliate to fulfill the four functions of a campus chapter: building, fundraising, advocating and educating.”


7- Humanity First - to serve disaster struck and socially disadvantaged individuals

“Our projects are rooted in a community deeply affected by a natural disaster, war, or poverty. After the relief phase of the project has subsided, Humanity First works with the community to identify viable opportunities for growth and recovery.”


8- International Rescue Committee - responds to the world’s worst crises

“The International Rescue Committee is exactly as it sounds: a group of people from around the world who have pledged their time and resources to rescuing people in peril. When you help the IRC, you help the persecuted and displaced, survivors of war and disaster, refugees struggling to start anew. You extend our reach…and send a message of hope to millions.”

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10 Steps To Solve Your Problems Smoothly

Written by: Johny

Student organizations are challenged every day. Problems of varying complexities are thrown your way for you to solve. Here are some steps to get through solving these problems like a hot knife through butter.


1- Accept that the problem exists. As a student executive, problems will come left, right and center. Instead of sulking over their existence, save your precious time and start putting energy into thinking for solutions for the problem.


2- Get informed about the issue. A good thing to do before going crazy is to obtain all of the information about the problem in hand. Gaining knowledge about the problem will chase away the anxiety!


3- What is the worst result? Honestly, what could happen if the problem persisted? It is important that you get an accurate perspective of the issue. Restore it to its actual size. Avoid building the problem up in your head before facing it head on.


4- Rely on your team! There is a reason why you are a student TEAM. There is no “I” in TEAM. Ask for help! Do not hesitate to ask around when it is time to fix the issue. You were appointed to your position because you are a “specialist” but other students or faculty members may also have insight about your problem.


5- Stay open minded. Let go of the fact that you may be wrong. Accept other people’s suggestions and add to them. Try the “yes, and” exercise used in improvisation to building a trust rapport between the executives on the team.


6- Give yourself choices. Start brainstorming with your team and come up with a couple of good solutions. When you have laid out all of the possible solutions to a problem, test, iterate and improve. You don’t know which solution will work unless you try some of them, right?


7- Dissect the problem. This is the part where you break the problem into pieces and you find potential solutions one step at a time. A problem may look mammoth-like if you don’t carefully look at every aspect of it. As a team, each student executive can be charged of fixing different parts of the issue.


8- Be effective in action. This may sound intuitive but it is important to do so. We like to call this the 80/20 rule. Spend 80% of your time solving the problem and 20% whining about it. If you apply this, you will find out that you spend way too much time pouting. Turn that frown upside down young padawan!


9- Find the needle in the haystack. There is a pile of problems that you need to fix. Try and look at it with a positive attitude. This will help your perception of the problem. Find the lesson that can be learned from this. How is this problem going to help your future hitches? Draw something positive out of a negative experience and it will look less bad than it actually is.


10- Keep your troops motivated. Never let the emergence of a problem kill your team’s vibe. Cheer up!

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Know Your Student Body: Top 12 Blogs

Written by: Johny

In sports, there is an acronym that is sometimes used by sports coaching staffs around North America to explain how you should always be aware of the players that you put on the court/field/ice before making strategic decisions. The acronym is KYP (Know Your Personnel). The same should apply for student councils. Know your student body! You should have an excellent idea of what gets them engaged, where they spend most of their free time, which artists make them dance and which issues strike a chord for them. A good way to do so is to examine the content they consume on a daily basis. We have compiled a list of some of the best blogs students visit to obtain information - subjects include student finances, how to stay on top of the best innovations on campus and entertainment material.


“Powered by a network of the nation’s top college counselors and a vibrant community of enrolled college students, Unigo is the Web’s largest resource of information to find, get in and pay for college. Families use Unigo for admissions and financial aid advice, and access to more than 200,000 multimedia reviews by students on 6,500 campuses across the country, for free.”

Campus Grotto

Campus Grotto is a national college news website that covers a wide range of college-related topics, including student finance, study tips, college admission, college rankings, career advice, and college life.”

Hack College

Hack College is educating the students of the world about effective, open source software, putting techno-political arguments in everyday language, and creating a cult of “Students 2.0.” If we can change the way 1 percent of college students and faculty in the world view education and technology, we’ve done our job.”

College Candy

College Candy is the glass slipper of the blogosphere - a veritable portal into all things college, be you a Sorority Sister or Women’s Studies Student. Compulsive updates written by and for college women will keep you abreast of awesomeness even when a Russian history paper has you caged to the computer.”


Cracked is comedy with a college education.We offer heaps of facts smothered in humor. We are the professors you wish you had in school; we are Indiana Jones except with less adventures and more sarcasm.”

Campus Technology

Campus Technology is the only monthly publication focusing exclusively on the use of technology across all areas of higher education. Campus Technologyprovides in depth coverage of specific technologies and their implementations, including wireless networks and mobile devices; enterprise resource planning; eLearning and course management systems; “smart classroom” technologies; telecom; Web; and security solutions-all the important issues and trends for campus IT decision makers.”

New Student Union

The New Student Union is an online publication run by and for college students covering the issues that they care about. Its network extends across the United States to more than 15 campuses with over 20 contributors specializing in a wide array of topics.”

Her Campus

Her Campus is the #1 online community for college women.  Written entirely by the nation’s top college journalists – with 3,000+ contributors and counting – features national content on Style, Health, Love, Life, and Career supplemented by local content from 200+ campus chapters across the country.   In addition, Her Campus offers a daily email newsletter, social media communities, job listings, e-commerce, surveys, giveaways, and scholarships, filling a critical hole in the media marketplace and creating a robust interactive experience for its “collegiettes™”.”

Lions Den University

“We are The Mighty Lion’s Den. We are both the best and worst that society has to offer, but mostly the best. As a matter of fact we are better on our worst day than you are in your best year. Don’t hate us. Nay. Strive to be like us. Pay close attention and amidst the tumult and perceived chaos you will glimpse for one fleeting moment the brilliant genius that is the Den.”

The Student Wallet

The Student Wallet is a student finance blog launched in March 2012. College is an exciting time in life.  This is true for a student’s finances as well.  College is often the first time students have to make their own major financial decisions.  Some are relatively minor like opening a first credit card or bank account.  Others can have effects that last for several years like how many student loans to take out.”

College Humor

“Founded by two high school friends, CollegeHumor delivers daily comedic content, including videos, pictures, articles and jokes, created and/or curated by the CollegeHumor staff. CollegeHumor Media attracts more than 15 million monthly uniques and generats more than 100 million video views per month (Nielsen/Net Ratings) with popular sketches such as “Jake and Amir,” “Very Mary Kate” and “Troopers.” CollegeHumor Media provides online advertisers across a variety of categories with an efficient vehicle for reaching multiple desirable demographics.”


mtvU is MTV Networks’ Peabody and Emmy Award-winning 24-hour college network-the largest and most comprehensive media network just for college students. The heart of the channel is the emerging music students live their lives to, including music videos and a range of series profiling the up-and-coming acts bubbling on the college scene.”

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How To Deal With Digital Multitasking As A Student Executive

Written by: Johny

As student executives, information will come from everywhere at the beginning of the governing term. You will be introduced to your student advisors and the rest of the elected student executive team; you will be bombarded with information from the outgoing student government class about the successful and the mediocre events, about the budget, about the corporate relationships and about the unfinished endeavours; you will have to plan for New Student Orientation, for Welcome Week and the rest of the year; you will have to recruit more student staff to fill in the opening spots on the executive staff team, all the while preparing for your own personal school years with course schedules and student loans. Now, that’s we call multitasking! But don’t worry, you are definitely up for the task!

In this age of digital revolution, all of this information will mostly come to you through your multiple mobile devices and your computers. You will often find yourself answering to an email while creating a Facebook event and checking your Twitter News Feed while creating your school year budget on spreadsheets and registering for your classes. Some ways to manage all of this efficiently is 1) to prioritize, 2) to complete similar tasks together, 3) schedule breaks in your schedule. This infographic designed by Online Universities will give you more insight about the phenomenon of digital multitasking and how to deal with it.


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Interview Questions To Form Your Exec Dream Team

Written by: Johny

The group of students that was newly elected to represent the college students on campus this year has now been democratically formed. However, student governments also have to hire staff to fill all of the other positions on the student executive team. For example, you might be looking for staff to design posters and flyers for events or to provide maintenance to the student government’s archaic website. In either case, you will embark on a hiring process to find the right people on campus to fill these voids. It is no small task! You might have to conduct job interviews to separate good candidates from stinky ones. You are not sure how to do so? Let us help you with some questions that you should ask yourself before you start:

1- What are we looking for?

Spend some time with the whole student executive team to discuss the positions that are available and that need to be filled. Examine every facet of the position. Determine the skills, the candidate personality, the time dedication and the motivation needed to be successful at the job. Spend some time with former executives to pin down the exact factors that will determine if a candidate is hired or put to the side.

2- What do we want to know about the candidate?

You know what you are looking for. Now, it is your responsibility to make the candidate show the qualities and the weaknesses that will confirm or deny the criteria. Ask the right questions! There are many different ways to approach the creation of questions for an interview. Try these types: fact-based questions, situational questions, stress questions, behavorial questions.

3- What will be the structure of our interviews?

Experts argue on the structure an interview should have. There is no right or wrong answer to this one.

Introduction: Start with small talk and an explanation of the interview process.

Question Period: See Step 2 for this period of the interview.

Test: Ask for the candidate to show past work and/or provide a test problem to solve.

Wrap It Up: Answer candidate questions and explain the follow-up to this interview

4- What is our rating method?

Determine a certain number of criteria that are essential to the job and that will determine if the candidate is a go or a no-go. Mark each candidate based on each of the selected criterium.


- Don’t babble too much!

- Bring a notebook and take notes.

- Take your time!

- Do your homework and prepare for each interview.

- Be nice!

Do not underestimate the hiring task as a mis-hire can be a pain to deal with. Use these tips to secure qualified and enjoyable student executives to fill your staff positions.

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Happy July Fourth!

Written by: Emma

Most students spend their summers away from campus trying their hardest to not even think about school until that day in August when they finally need to head back. But the members of our student governments don’t get that luxury. While we’re enjoying the sun and relaxing we often forget that they’re spending these months planning our return to campus, setting up the yearly budget, planning out all events and registering your campus for OOHLALA.

On this National holiday we’d like to thank them for all the hard work they do and hopefully they’ll take the day off and celebrate with a BBQ, fireworks and some fun July 4th facts.

  • The number of Americans who will spend the holiday at other people’s homes is approximately 41 million.
  • The amount of chicken purchased the week before the holiday is 700 million pounds.
  • The percentage of American homes with an outdoor grill is 87 percent.
  • The stars on the original American flag were arranged in a circle to ensure that all colonies were equal.
  • More than 74 million Americans will BBQ today.
  • Three notable Presidents died on July 4th, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and James Moore.
  • Americans spend approximately $11 million combined on popsicles and charcoal for the 4th of July.
  • The American Pyrotechnics society estimates that more than 14,000 professionally done fireworks displays will light up our skies tonight.
  • Caesar salad was invented on July 4th.
  • The Fourth of July was not declared a national holiday until 1941.
  • Over an estimated 150 million hot dogs will be consumed today. That’s roughly one dog for every two people in the US!
  • Finally, the largest July 4th fireworks display happens in NYC yearly and is hosted by Macy’s, check out a clip from the 2008 show here: Macy’s July 4th Fireworks NYC, NY


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