How to Build Credibility for Your Student Government by howardtheduck


									College of Staten Island August 25, 2007 Staten Island, New York

How to Build Credibility for Your Student Government

W.H. “Butch” Oxendine, Jr. ASGA Executive Director
© 2007

If your SG lacks credibility, what happens?
• DISTRUST: There’s a lack of faith in SG How To Build Credibility • FRUSTRATION: Your members feel disenfranchised and morale is horrifically low • APATHY: There’s terrible internal & external disinterest • LOSS OF POWER: Your influence plummets • DESOCIALIZATION: Other campus groups, students, and administrators want nothing to do with SG

If your SG lacks credibility, what happens?
• MOCKERY: SG is bashed and belittled by other groups or the campus media How To Build Credibility

• PETTY POLITICS: There’s tons of fighting, discrediting, back-stabbing, and betrayal between SG members

• PARTISANSHIP: There’s a growing segregation between different groups, causes, and beliefs

• REBELLION: The emergence of public dissent against SG

The Bottom Line: Lack of SG Credibility Means:
How To Build Credibility

• • • •

A weak student government… A weak e-board… A weaker student body… Ultimately a weaker institution

Why is credibility critical to student government?
How To Build Credibility

It creates an assumption of integrity among your entire organization and all members. It creates an aura of reliability on big and important decisions and issues.



It promotes your SG as an authority on campus.

There are TWO TYPES of Student Government Credibility:
How To Build Credibility

Credibility is ultimately contingent on YOU individually and what YOU can personally do to be and appear more credible.

Is Actual Credibility
based on the physical and theoretical things you can do to be more credible.

Is Perceived Credibility
based on the conscious things you can do to look more credible

Improve Voter Turnout

How To Build Credibility

The average voter turnout in SG elections is TWO PERCENT. Credibility starts with proving you actually represent students.

Meet and communicate with your constituents:
• Take interest in them, individually.
How To Build Credibility

• Ask their opinions on issues. • Keep them abreast of SG proceedings.

• Give regular thought to what you might do to make their “quality of life” better.
• Make sure they see you do that.

Survey Your Students
• Most SGs can’t prove that they KNOW what students want and need. • SGs don’t KNOW what students’ concerns, issues, and problems are. • Most SGs lack quantitative and often qualitative data that supports or influences their decisions.

How To Build Credibility

Learn precedent
• Most SGs don’t know anything about what their predecessors did.
How To Build Credibility

• They don’t know what projects were started, the progress that was made, and what was accomplished. • Year after year, they start over… sputtering and restarting again and again.

Be Persuasive
Never assume they believe you. Tell them only as much as they’ll believe. Tell the truth, even if it hurts. Point out the disadvantages. Use precise numbers. Downplay any benefits to you. If you do have something to gain, let them know. 8. Confront problems head on. 9. Use the power of the printed word. 10. Let them know who else says so. 11. Build and use a portfolio of testimonies (preferably endorsements from people they’d know.) 12. Make it personal- and share secrets.
(Excerpted From Secrets of Power Persuasion, by Roger Dawson. Copyright Prentice Hall 1992. Chapter 2: “Magic Keys That Make People Believe You”)

How To Build Credibility

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Improve Your Image
Lead by example. Set and live by high expectations. Dress appropriately to the situation. Take the time in making decisions. Practice, be careful, and be thoughtful in your speech. 6. Be respectful, genuinely respectful, of other people, no matter who they are. 7. Have an extreme awareness for how you behave in larger groups of people, and pay very close attention to how others always perceive you. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

How To Build Credibility

Credibility Is All About:
• Actually representing your fellow students. • Actually knowing their concerns and issues. • Actually understanding the past successes and failures of your group.

How To Build Credibility

• Communicating with your constituencies.
• Using persuasion.

• Maximizing and enhancing your image.

How to Contact Butch:

How To Build Credibility

E-mail: Call toll free: 1-877-ASK ASGA

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