Students in Service and Leadership at Harvard

Harvard Psychedelics Club - Our Next Steps

There are a few different ideas that came out of the interviews for how to institutionalize HPC and maintain the most precious of its culture in perpetuity. 

A Beginning of the Semester Norming and Storming Session:
One of these ideas is to have a full board extended meeting at the beginning of each semester where people come together and norm and storm come up with norms and goals and hopes for the semester collectively each semester this would help individual members feel personally connected to the culture of the club and have a hand in contributing and shaping it. There could be pre existing guidelines or a broader structure which helps support these guidelines which could last but the guidelines themselves could be generated each semester.

Almuni Advisory Role:
Another idea is to strengthen and maintain slash retain alumni involvement in advisory roles. So for instance when Yana and I graduate, we could help out a year after as an advisor and answer questions that newer leaders have and help with the transition and create a standard of that chain that was positions and transitions of our positions. This is common across many organizations. And would be very helpful for us. 

Comp Class Project:
Another idea that was generated an interview with Yana was for the comp class the we were we were talking about the challenge of empowering each new complex so they feel healthy sense of entitlement and confident stepping up, taking action showing initiative and making the club their own and pursuing the projects they want to do. As opposed to sitting back and waiting to be told what to do. So the idea is to have the comp class put on a project each semester that they share with the broader board so for this semester, we decided that they would do a wellness day they would curate and then facilitate for the board this is something that can be continued indefinitely.

Semesterly Awards/Lineages:
 Another idea is to create awards, slash celebrations for board members that are archetypal. So it could be something like the coyote troublemaker or trickster or like the like heart or like people like being caring for the community and putting a lot into the community or like the like organizer or different things like this, and kind of have actual physical awards and objects which then we add people's names to to create essentially a traditional one lineage and then also to help guide and shape the ways in which people are like create incentives and like and show people a path forward of how they can excel in the club by following these models. 

Maintaining a People-First Culture:
I think the biggest thing, as well is just like being honest about where we are one of the very special things about the club is how many of the members are undergoing healing journeys during his spiritual healing journeys, where they're processing through difficult traumas and growing and this often comes in conflict with productivity and getting projects done. And I think maintaining that human centeredness and understanding quality even if it comes at the expense of doing bigger initiatives is a key thing to emphasize going forward and an aspect of the club culture to protect. 

Maintaining Connection to Alumni:
Another idea is to have an alumni newsletter, or an alumni group chat, some way of updating alumni and keeping them involved. Maybe also putting on an event each year once a year where they can come back for it. We're also just creating a program that connects alums with current college students and just keeping people involved in that way. 

Alumni Mentor/Advisor positions within Project Teams:
Another idea is to work to keep alumni involved as mentors for team projects when they graduate. These arrangements could be made on a case-by-case basis and the club could work with the alumns to figure out something that works for them. One potential example could be where they give one hour a week or one hour every other week, and to meet with, give advice, and generally talk through things. These connections could also be helpful in networking for students.

Community Steward Leadership Position:
Another idea is to create a role which is community steward or something like that, where someone's like biggest their main focus is on creating community. And they could do things like writing birthday emails, running heart-to-hearts, which is a program I designed we had in place for about a year where each week, each board member is be paired with another board member and they meet and talk for an hour in a one-on-one environment. There were mixed thoughts on the heart-to-hearts, as a high-commitment member remarked that they can sometimes feel stressful and that the format didn’t always feel natural. Others, who were not in leadership positions, spoke fondly of heart-to-hearts and called for even more consistent club programming as possible area for improvement. The purpose of these is to help with building individual relationships within the club, to help strengthen the board community more broadly. So having someone whose job it is to just do those things would be helpful. 

Getting an HPC Space!
The final idea is to work on getting an actual space for the club as right now we do not have one and rely on using Harvard spaces and partnering with other organizations for our events. Having a space would be helpful in putting on events and also for storing important material, visual culture, and other significant objects. This would help in creating a lasting sense of identity and within the organization. 

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