On the 22 of October the 24th Board of S.A. Communiqué organized a Focus Group in order to get to know the opinion of our members about our association, the 24th Board and their ideas for the future. The results of this Focus Group has been analyzed and sorted by the 24th Board in order to see what we can improve and which ideas have to be put aside or postponed. These ideas are not only useful for us but also for upcoming boards. The good comments about the Board and S.A. Communiqué has been left out of this section even though they have been analyzed by the Board and has been appreciated very much. For the purpose of this paper the negative comments or suggestions for the future are more relevant. We want to thank the group of members that participated in our Focus Group very much and we hope that the following evaluation will explain why or why not we do or do not realize certain things. For people who did not participate in the Focus Group we want to emphasize again that we are very open for your ideas, questions and feedback at all times via messages and during our office hours in person. Please also make use of our idea box! A certain amount of money can be used to realize ideas that have been proposed in the idea box under the name of a member’s initiative.
Things we are already working on and try to enhance
We are already reviewing ideas on the screen, feel free to check them out ☺. Evaluating the Focus Group results we got to know that people would like to have more feedback on their ideas . This is difficult to realize as we do not know who had which idea but we will try to announce them in the newsletter next to having them on the screen. All the ideas are discussed during our meetings and we are trying to keep the ones in mind that can be realized and implement them during our board year.
We are trying to always involve members, but if you have any suggestions how to improve that please drop by and tell us, put it in the idea box or send us a message ☺. This Focus Group was an attempt to involve members more and we are also trying to constantly ask for feedback. You can make usage of the idea box and give input to the music that will be played on Tuesdays in the room or during our drinks.
Unfortunately our budget is limited but we will try to get more healthy snacks as this is a member’s initiative. We are looking into offering nuts and will try to offer fruits during our Playbreaks for example.
We will ask each committee whether they want to have printed agendas or not and accordingly go on using them or making usage of the online version. This can also come in handy for making the minutes and most importantly, it safes paper. We already considered this but now that we have the confirmation that members want to save the paper as well we will implement it to the before mentioned extent.
One of our goals for this academic year is to improve the contact with other associations. We are working very hard on strengthening the bonds between the 24th Board of Communiqué and boards of other associations in order to increase the likability of possible collaborations. Arranging activities or events together with other associations is not as easy as it may sound. If it was up to us we would do it way more often, but the association we are trying to collaborate with also has their own schedule and goals and therefore is not always willing to do anything together at a certain moment. We have a lot of associations that are generally interested in organizing things together with Communiqué but finding a specific date and activity to realize this attempt is the obstacle we are trying to overcome.
We introduced the new screen some time ago and try to show pictures of events and activities on there. Additionally, building up on the idea of the 23rd Board we will hang pictures of committees on the wall above the door of the association room. Next to these options we will maybe also hang up photos of events in the room, but we will have to see in how far this is financially feasible.
We personally really like the idea of having a flash mob but we do not think that especially due to the fact that we have part-time members and already put a lot of things on our plate, we will not be able to organize such a thing during this academic year. We will propose it to the next board though and hope that they will like the idea and actually implement it.
We did not include a Ski Trip in our financial plan and as this kind of trip would be very expensive, we do believe that organizing it this year will unfortunately not be feasible. We like the general regardless and also considered it ourselves already and will therefore propose it to the next board.
We love the name and the idea is great but we do not think that this idea will be feasible during our board year du to our time planning and resources. We will propose it to the next board. If you have any more detailed suggestions how to realize this idea, please hit us up and we will reconsider.
Trip to the shore
We will not entirely neglect this idea as we personally really like it and we are looking into opportunities how to combine it with other activities. If we are not able to implement this idea in our year planning we will propose it to the next board.
LAN – Party
This idea will also not be entirely neglected as it has a nice background but especially since we have a lot of girls in our association who are not too much into playing video games we are not sure whether we can realize this. We have the opportunity of playing Wii during our Playbreaks and for casual spontaneous occasions. Maybe we can extent these occasions once into the evening and thereby come close to organizing a LAN-Party. In case we cannot make this idea become true, we will propose it to the next board.
A slumber-party would be a fun thing to do. We will have a look into how far the university lets us do this or if it could be possible to arrange at somebody’s private place.
Things we will (try to) change/implement
We will not ‘’ice’’ people in the room anymore. We were already thinking about making this rule before we got the feedback of our members, because not everybody in the board liked the idea of icing members in the middle of the day anyway. People should have the chance to be productive during the day and enjoy their time in the room instead of feeling the social pressure to drink alcohol. In general nobody should be forced to drink alcohol.
We are happy to hear that the majority of people feels like they can approach us with anything but what counts is that some members are not entirely convinced that they can come to us with their questions, concerns or feedback. We are not entirely sure at this point how to change that because we always try to make people aware of the fact that they can come to us with anything and that we will listen and accordingly try to change things to the extent that we can change certain circumstances. In the future we will try to emphasize the fact that members can give us feedback or ask questions at any point even more, especially to people that are not very close to the board. Besides that we are very open for ideas how to reach out to people that do not feel like they can easily talk to us.
Master students & interaction
One of our goals for this year is to involve (Pre-) Master students a little bit more in the entire association, it’s events and activities. We planned on improving the interactions between (Pre-)Master and Bachelor students. This attempt has been proven to be way more challenging than we expected it to be, because it is very difficult to reach out to them and as they often have their own friend groups and interests separately from their studies they are often not very eager to join activities and events. We still think having more interactions between Bachelor and Master students would be very nice and increase the diversity as well as opportunities in our association. We will try reach out to them more by using a snowball system in which (Pre-)Master students that we already know try to make us acquainted with other (Pre-)Master students and engage them to join activities. We are furthermore constantly thinking about possibilities to trigger their interest ☺.
We really like the idea that was brought up during the focus group about having Lunch lectures given by master students or implementing a buddy system. The difficulty in this respect is, that Master students need to be willing to actually participate in either one of both , that is why we are starting to ask Master students whether they are generally interested in such things. Additionally, we will propose this idea to the next board in case we cannot manage to realize one of these ideas.
Make more room at the walls
We already got rid of a lot of things in the room but we personally also think that this can always be improved. There are several items that are hanging on the walls or stand in the room, that former boards introduced or installed. For us it is a little bit difficult to decide which items will remain because we do appreciate the work and legacies of former boards and do not want to give them or anybody else the opposite feeling. On the other hand, our board year aims at current members and their wishes and if they feel like the room is to crowded we will try to make more room for items that remind members of the current year, it’s activities, events and members.
During this academic year we will have a series of lunch-lectures given by companies. This series will be called ‘Prepare your future’. Please feel free to check them out ☺. We will also have at least one event where teachers will inform about their research, which will be called ‘Research Colloquia’ and probably combined with a drink.
We thought about some activities for Valentine’s already and especially would like to introduce something involving roses. What exactly will be implemented in this respect will be decided during the upcoming weeks.
Even though we were advised to not set up a sports committee again, we consider sports as an important aspect to create a big spectrum of diverse activities over the year. We want to have several sports activities over the year and are working on that already. At least two of these activities will be organized in collaboration with sports associations .
One of the ideas that were brought up during the focus group was “Sailing”. The sports committee is already considering this as an option but has to see in how far it is feasible regarding costs and logistics.
Mario Kart competition
We have already been thinking about something similar and will try to actually have a Mario kart competition for Communiqué. This will either happen in one of our Playbreaks or in the afternoon/evening as soon as our time planning allows this to happen.
Activities in a broader view
We want to organize cultural activities and activities that differ from the repetitive activities of S.A. Communiqué. We will try to organize a cooking workshop and we will have at least one dancing lesson during the academic year. We will see if it will be possible to organize a ‘Yoga’ or ‘Mindfulness ‘ lesson/workshop as an activity or as part of an event.
‘Planning’ as a workshop would be really interesting but we will have to see if we can manage to add it as an extra activity because the schedule is already pretty tight and we do not want to end up having activities/events where nobody can manage to show up anymore because there is too much going on. We will try to promote these kind of workshops that are organized by the university already inheriting these kind of purposes.
We want to have at least three company visits during the academic year of 2018 - 2019 and are considering to have one during the annual Europe Trip. We are also trying to get in touch with companies abroad to enhance the chances of the next board to have a company visit abroad in case we cannot manage to do so ourselves. These events will take place thanks to the Competence Committee. Due to the given budget, logistics and the year planning we will unfortunately be able to do more than the aforementioned activities this year. During the study trip that we are planning in collaboration with the Study Trip Committee for 2019 – 2020, most likely up to 27 companies and universities will be visited in a country outside of Europe.
Things we think are personal preferences and will remain
We will probably go on buying Beef noodles or at least not entirely exclude them, because we think this is a personal preference. In case several people tell us that they do not like these noodles we will probably stop buying them.
During the Focus Group it was mentioned that the closets standing in the room are useless, but we think this is not the case. If people have suggestions about one specific closet that is not sufficient or even useless we will maybe reconsider ☺.
Things we cannot do, due to financial or logistic problems
The following snacks were proposed during the Focus Group:
Milchschnitte (only available in Germany and has to be cold)
Capri Sun (Treasurer considers this to not sell well)
Katjes (Treasurer considers this but it is not very likely that we can get something)
Toastis’s + Toasters (they are forbidden in the Cubicus)
Due to the reasons above we are sorry to say that we probably will not get them but we are open for more suggestions ☺.
We are aware of the fact that some people have to come to the university in order to attend committee meetings, but having regular meetings is necessary in order to keep people busy and get things done. Seeing that some meetings are less useful than others we will try to avoid having pointless meetings but we cannot take everybody’s schedule into account otherwise meetings would (nearly) never take place and people would forget about their action points or lose motivation. We hope that meetings in which (nearly) nothing will be discussed will be avoided in the future but with regard to unforeseen circumstances we can never promise that.
Joining a Committee
Due to this Focus Group we got to know that second years felt a little bit excluded when it comes to joining a committee. There are several second, third years, and (pre-)masters active in committees but we do see that the majority of committee members consists of first year students. This is due to the fact that we expected older students to already know about committees and because we assumed that as soon as we mentioned which committees are available, people would sign up. Actions we took were: asking in the Whatsapp groups who wants to remain a member of a committee and who wants to join one as well as approaching people personally and mentioning committees in the newsletter and during the GMA. We will tell the next board to be a little bit more careful with these assumptions and promote the committees a little bit more to older members as well.
We are gathering feedback by constantly asking people about their studies and motivating them to give us feedback. Besides this we will promote the Focus Groups of the Educational Programme, organize a Project BMS, where BMS students can give feedback to the educational programme directly and Project COM, which is the same but only accessible for Communication Science students. Students can fill in surveys of the Educational Programme that we are trying to promote and we will have an active Educational Feedback Committee during the academic year of 2018 -2019. These are plenty of options to give feedback but when we still hear voices we will have a look into how we can promote these options even better ☺.
We do understand why members may not be the greatest fan of our corner couch, because due to its shape members are forced to sit very close to each other or only a few people can sit on the couch. In case we hear about any opportunity to buy a cheap couch that is still in good conditions or in case we can get one for free, we will try to change the current couch against this one, but we do not consider this to be very likely to happen.
Buy “nice” stuff
We are constantly thinking about how to make the room more appealing and what we can add for our members. The one little obstacle we have to face is that our budget regarding room decoration and facilities is very limited as we are not making profits with our association and are spending our money mainly on events and activities for our members.
Things we will consider or propose to the next board
Wall of appreciation/shame
The wall of appreciation is a very nice idea and we will look into it and in how far this could be feasible. If we do not implement it this year, we will propose it to the next board.
The wall of shame will therefore not be implemented because we do not want to support gossip being spread in the association or members being openly discriminated. Using quotes and pictures of members in the room is already a grey area with regard to this rule. If anyone does not feel comfortable with seeing his or her quote or picture in the room, we hope that they mention it to the board or send a message to make us remove it. We will remove anything that is has been requested to be removed.
Drinks & MBasement
The board decided to not having an official contract for being a member of the MBasement anymore and had an extended discussion as well as two votes before and during the second GMA at the beginning of the academic year about this topic. We still get to hear that people are sad or disappointed about this fact and that there are still people who own cards (to buy drinks) from last year. Due to these reasons we are still considering to maybe have at least one drink in the MBasement this year but we do not want to promise this. During the Midyear- GMA this topic may arise again.
Friday afternoon drinks are a nice idea but are not possible in the MBasement as the study association Stress is having their drinks there on Fridays. Maybe we will introduce a Friday afternoon drink at another location over the year but our general day for having drinks is Thursday. Otherwise, we will propose this idea to the next board ☺.
We already considered playing Lasertag in the Cubicus for Lustrum, but we have to see in how far the Campus security allows us to do this.
More study nights
The study nights were an idea of the 23rd Board and we really like their idea and are working on the way they are set up. We want to engage teachers to join regularly and introduce a Buddy system This is not the easiest task as we realized but we will try to still achieve this goal. At the moment we do not think than having more than four study nights a year (once per module) is regarding the logistics and the time planning hardly feasible. We do see the advantages and good sights of a study night though and it makes us happy to hear that people are enjoying it.