OUTREACH FOR ORTHODOX STUDENTS ON CAMPUS
Obviously, an Orthodox Christian Fellowship has members that are Orthodox Christians. The question is, how do you go about finding Orthodox Christians on a college campus?
• Find out when the activities fair is at the beginning of the semester. Reserve a booth at this event. Make a poster and some flyers advertising the organization and a sign up list to the names of new students who might be interested in attending.
• Go to the office of admissions and ask if your school will supply a list of Orthodox students. It is common for colleges to collect information about religious preference, and many colleges will provide that information for a student organization. Note: Not all schools will do this, especially state schools.
• Contact local Orthodox churches and ask if they know of any students that attend your college or will be attending your college within the next few years.
• Post flyers for meetings and events with icons on them. This is proven to attract attention of Orthodox students because it is something familiar and will catch their eye.
• Word of mouth. Talk about your organization, mention Orthodoxy to someone and you will be surprised at how many people know of people who are Orthodox! Keep your ears open.
• Network with other Christian groups on campus. Many times Orthodox students not realizing there is an organization will become involved in other campus ministries.
Now that you have the names of all of these Orthodox students, how do you go about contacting them?
• Look up their contact information from the school directory and compile a list that includes name, phone number, email address and local address.
• Send out a mass email to all of the new people, telling them about what the organization at your school does, inviting them to an event or meeting, and telling them whom to contact if they have questions.
• Split up the list of people and call them, inviting them to a meeting, church on Sunday, or an event that the organization is having.
The beginning of the fall semester is the most crucial time for new students to become involved in an organization. The following are tactics that are specifically geared for use at the beginning of a new academic year.
• Have a welcome back social event. Have a barbecue, go bowling, go to a sports event, do something that people will want to go to so you can get to know the new people as you are catching up with previous members. Something off campus sometimes helps new students get a break from the insanity of the start of their first semester.
• Have a meeting within the first two weeks of school starting, before everyone starts to get busy!
• Provide rides to local churches for the new students the first few weekends of school. This is especially important because then they might get used to going to church on Sunday mornings, which can be very hard for college students sometimes!
Most importantly, get to know the new students. College is hard to adjust to, and a friend can make a world of difference for a new student who probably knows very few people on campus. Perhaps, a senior student could become a big brother or big sister to an incoming freshman. Do not be afraid to do your Christian Duty!