EN | 2 min read
By mid-October the excitement of back-to-campus 2021 orientation events has faded and mid-terms are approaching. Now is the right time to get students thinking about where to get support for resolving complaints and concerns. Consider these 3 ways of advertising ombuds services:
- Focus on positive messaging to get people to START doing something. View this TED talk on motivation by Dr. Tali Sharot. Want to learn how to be more proactive about a difficult situation? Need helpful advice to understand how to bring a concern forward? Looking for a fair outcome to an unfair situation? Who knows what’s fair? We do!
- Recharge outreach energies for January 2022. Students receive so much information in their first month at university or college that they might not remember a booth, pamphlet, email, or social medial post advertising the Ombuds service. Consider however that potential visitors will be studying for 4+ years. Capturing their attention in the relative calm of winter may be more effective than during the whirlwind of September orientation.
- Ask for something. Rather than offering advice, consider outreach that invites students to offer solutions to a common ombuds problem, to give “what I wish I’d known in my first year” advice to fellow students, or to share a favourite space on campus to contemplate a difficult academic or non-academic issue. By asking a question, you are also modeling curiosity and demonstrating to students how they can engage in collaborative problem-solving. Read more about guiding people without giving advice in this March 2021 blog post in Psychology Today.
Happy fall – whether your semester is virtual, in-person, or a unique combination of the two!
– Heather McGhee Peggs