When I was in high school, I was involved in a large and very active FBLA chapter. We took around 20 qualifiers to state every year, and while I was a student, had multiple members qualify for Nationals. I was so excited when I heard that Missouri State had a PBL chapter I could join once I graduated high school. However, I was not expecting the dynamic change of coming from a well-established chapter to a chapter that was only a year out from its reactivation.
As the Missouri State chapter has grown each year, one thing the officer team has tried to focus on consistently is member involvement. The reasoning behind this is members who are involved in the chapter and go to meetings, socials, competition, and conferences are more likely to be invested in the organization. These are going to be the ones who become future officers, who help increase membership numbers by bringing their friends, and who will ultimately keep the chapter running long after the current officers graduate.
Until a new chapter can grow a presence on campus, the best hope it has to survive is to make an extra effort to invest in its members. That’s not to say older chapters do not have to care for their members—they certainly do—but it is even more vital at those developing chapters. When looking at Missouri’s largest PBL chapters, it is also important to note the longevity of those chapters. It takes a lot of work to foster a new organization on a college campus. It takes even more work to make sure it lasts over time.
Kerri Young, PBL Parliamentarian (Missouri State University)