I’m about to start my second year as president of the FMLA at ETSU. Organizing during summer at ETSU is nearly impossible because most student organizations are not active during this period, so now that the fall semester is starting back up things are finally getting intense. Here’s some steps we took to prepare for this year’s feminist revolution on our campus.
+ Recruiting Early: One of the major things we have been doing to prepare is tabling at incoming student orientations to gather new members.
+ Getting In Touch: We have also prepared our secretary with all the information they need to know to send out a “back to school” email. This will be sent a week before the first meeting reminding everyone on our email list of the meeting time and place. In addition, our Vice President will send a special email to all of those who signed up for more information during the summer; this email will be basically a welcome and Intro to FMLA email.
+ Prep Work: We’ve also started meeting with other organizations to discuss the fall events. We try to co-sponsor as many events as possible with different groups; our upcoming fall event partnerships include monthly condom handouts, the annual I <3 Female Orgasm, co-sponsoring LGBTQ History Month, co-sponsoring World AIDS Week, rape culture monthly awareness events, and co-sponsoring the Red Flag Campaign. Team work makes the dream work!
+ Pro Tip: We try to have face to face meetings with co-sponsors to better work out the details. This also helps let everyone get to know each other. There is something much more reassuring when someone promises support for an event in person, so this helps build trust. We love having partnerships across campus because this builds a strong foundation for our group and helps with recruitment. Many people aren’t on campus yet, so we are feverishly emailing 24/7.
+ Game Plan: We typically end up doing 20+ events per semester and the best way to successfully do this is delegation and teamwork. I know it’s cheesy, but it works. If one person is doing all the planning and organizing they get compassion fatigue and burnout. Having several people doing different tasks makes everything go much smoother.
+ Advertising and Promotion: The advertising that works best for us is Facebook event pages and flyers absolutely everywhere. We also are big fans of word of mouth. It’s really helpful to try and get professors to offer extra credit for your events or if they’ll let you speak to their classed for five minutes about your organization or event. Every school is different, but our school has a lot of great ways to advertise events for free. We now have a master checklist of advertising steps for each event. This includes things like contacting local radio stations and sidewalk chalking two days in advance. Make sure to read up on your school guidelines for promotion. Our school is really helpful and supportive and I feel that knowing what they are cool with and strongly against helps with this. Overall our school wants us to succeed because our events bring students to campus and gets them involved and caring about their school and students in a way they wouldn’t have before.
Need help gearing up for the year? Get in touch with the Feminist Campus team at campusteam [at] feminist.org!