Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching & Service
Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching & Service

Resources for CSJ Student Organizations

  1. Identify potential leaders:
    • Who has shown dedication to your organization by planning and attending events, or general body meetings?
    • If you think a member would be really good in a particular role, ask them for coffee to encourage them to apply. 
    • Keep in mind that having first-year and sophomore students in leadership can help ensure your organization’s legacy carries on.
    • When seeking new executive leaders be sure the application is open to all members of your organization, and not only a select few. 
  2. Keep timing in mind: Provide at least a month of overlap in the transition so your new leaders have the opportunity to shadow outgoing leaders. Choose new leadership as early in the Spring semester as possible rather than leaving it until the very end (when everyone is busy with final exams and graduation). Give you organization time to meet with the new leaders and make sure they have time to ask questions and get the information they need.
    • March is a good time to transition your organization’s leadership as that is when your ABSO budget is due for the following academic year. This timing allows for new leadership to have a say in what programming is included in the new fiscal budget.
  3. Once you have transitioned: Now is the time to introduce your new leadership to all of your partners, this includes:
    • Your organization’s CSJ and ABSO advisor so they feel more comfortable developing a working relationship ahead of time. This will give them an insider’s look into what you’ve been doing in your role and help build their confidence in taking on more responsibility during the transition process. 
    • If your organization works with a school, non-profit organization, or any other partner, be sure you provide the names and contact information of those individuals who help coordinate your programming.
  4. Organize important documents, files, and resources: Make sure your Google Drive is up-to-date with the relevant notes, resources and instructions that new leaders will need.
    • Your organization has an email – this is a good place to keep all of your documents, and the contact information of partners.
  5. Conduct a member survey: Surveying your student organization’s members can help you collect valuable information about what worked well and what your org can improve on. This information will help you give recommendations to new leaders as they transition into their role. 
    • Before you transition, your new leadership should have a general overview of the things that worked well or did not work well for each program/event your organization hosted that year. Thus, it helps to debrief after each program/event and to maintain written records of feedback.
  6. Hold a debrief with current leadership: A debrief meeting will help you dig into the feedback you collected through your survey and debrief with members and explore the other ways your org can improve.
  7. Write a transition memo: A transition document is one of the best ways to ensure a smooth transition to the next person in your role. It will provide guidance and is a great way to share best practices and recommendations for how to manage responsibilities successfully. 
    • Suggested categories:
      1. Roles & responsibilities 
      2. Goals & achievements 
      3. Projects/programming/events throughout the year 
      4. Delegation of tasks and working with other student organizations or members 
      5. Working with your leadership team
      6. Existing relationships and ongoing projects 
      7. Vision for the future 
    • Also include any relevant documents, data, contact information, and resources with your transition memo
  8. Tie up any loose ends: Finish all necessary correspondence and develop and action plan for new officer transition. Follow CSJ’s policies and procedures to make sure the new leadership is approved under ABSO. Sit down with your ABSO peer advisor to introduce the new leaders and help them build a strong relationship. 
  9. Recognize your team! Let outgoing leadership know how much you appreciate the time and energy they have given to your organization.