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Posts tagged ‘Campus Programming Ideas’
Text, Talk, Vote (TTV) uses a text-based platform to facilitate in-person conversations about voting with a small group of young people (3-4 per group). The group receives and discusses prompts delivered by text, interacting with each other and moving through the program at their own pace.
The free program creates meaningful conversations about politics and policy, elevates the voices of younger voters, and increases civic participation and turnout. After using the platform, participants identifying as “definitely going to vote” rises by 21%. Participants not only enjoy the program and have a great time, but also feel more informed and report learning something new from their peers.
Try Text, Talk, Vote right now by texting in “Vote” to 42016. You can use this free, open platform whenever you want.
Join our ADP/TDC Engage the Election 2016 webinar next Wednesday, September 14th at 2 pm est / 11 am pst to learn more. Register here.
By Evan C. Miller, Social Media Manager, icitizen
It’s early December, which means two things. One, you’ve already grown tired of hearing the same 15 holiday carols. And two, the State of the Union is one month away. So I’ve got bad news and good news. The bad news is, those holiday carols are going to keep coming at you full force. The good news is, you’ve got plenty of time to plan (and throw) an awesome State of the Union Watch Party.
Now you’re probably saying to yourself, “Well, gee, Ev, do I really need to think about this a month beforehand?” And the answer is absolutely. This is an unprecedented opportunity to participate in a nationwide dialogue during the State of the Union. In fact, there’s a good chance your school will be one of over 400 joining the national watch party that icitizen and AASCU are hosting. We’ll host a live-stream of the address, have experts provide exclusive commentary and run multiple polls before, during and after the address so you can join the conversation too.
And let’s be real, this is the State of the Union (SOTU), not a college football game! People probably aren’t going to change their plans at the last minute for the SOTU. So I’ve put together this guide to help you get the ball moving on setting up and hosting an awesome watch party.
- Begin with the end in mind
Perhaps you’ve heard the expression “the journey is the destination.” Well, you don’t want that to be the case. You want a clear vision of what your watch party will look like. I’d suggest answering these questions first:
- How big do you want your group to be? (the bigger the better)
- How much space do you need?
- What does the approval process look like for reserving rooms at your school?
- What kind of budget do you have?
Some of these will be determined by how you tackle the next steps. Once you can answer these, it will make planning a whole lot easier.
- Get a professor/administrator on board
Getting an administrator and/or professor to sign off and help coordinate this event will make your life a lot easier. I’d suggest seeing if your campus is part of AASCU. Here’s their list of member schools. Since AASCU is all about engaging students with community issues and civic issues, they’ll probably be interested in helping organize the event.
If your school isn’t in AASCU, then I’d suggest reaching out to a poli-sci professor you know. Don’t know any poli-sci professors? Ask that friend who’s a poli-sci major. You know the one I’m talking about. He or she will be able to put you in touch with a professor who might be interested.
- Build out your guest list
There are two approaches you should take here. First, tap into your own network. Make sure your friends and classmates know about the event and have plenty of time to put it on their calendars.
Second, collaborate with other groups on your campus that would be interested in a SOTU Watch Party. Who might that be? Well, it depends on your school — but here’s a good starting list:
- American Democracy Project (AASCU)
- The Democracy Commitment (AASCU)
- Student Government Association
- College Democrats & College Republicans
- Civic engagement or volunteer clubs
- Political Science clubs
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but definitely a good starting point. Think of organizations on your campus that care about community issues. If you can rope in a few of these groups, then you’re on your way to having a successful watch party. I would start reaching out to these club leaders as soon as possible. Get on their radar because you’ve only got a month for them to sign off and market the watch party. Which leads to our next step…
- Spread the word
Getting the word out there is probably the most important part. Here are a few quick tips to make it a little easier:
- Create a Facebook event — this will make communication much easier and give you an estimate on the number of people to expect who will attend.
- If you have a page for your school/organization, then create the event there (here’s an easy guide).
- Keep the description pretty simple and invite your Facebook friends!
- Get help from the clubs you’re working with — make sure they’re spreading the word to their members.
- Invite your friends and classmates.
- Take advantage of icitizen’s marketing — we’ll be pushing the event out there, so feel free to jump on with us!
My biggest piece of advice would be this: Spread the word now. “Winter (Break) is coming” for most schools, so students will have some down-time. Take advantage and give them something fun to do their first week back. Which is why you need to…
- Make it fun
Let’s be honest, sometimes people need a little extra motivation to go out. And not all college students are enthusiastic about civic issues. So how can you compel the average college student to attend your watch party?
Make sure you’ve got an incentive for students to come. Remember that poli-sci professor you reached out to? There could be an opportunity for extra credit… . If that doesn’t work, then something as simple as having food and refreshments can go a long way. When I was a college student and heard there was free food at something, I was there. No questions asked. Then again, that’s how I got this weird tattoo. But I digress.
- Logistics, logistics, logistics
Think about those UPS commercials. Logistics are key to successful execution. Here are some of the basics:
- Projectors — have two of them. One for the SOTU live-stream and one that shows a Twitter stream so people can follow the #iSOTU16 hashtag and join the conversation with thousands of peers.
- Wifi — make sure your wifi network is prepared for a lot of users, and that guests can easily access the network during the event.
- Tweet-Up Guide — if you’re at an AASCU school, you’ll be getting Tweet-Up Guides for you and your guests. Distribute these guides so guests can easily jump into the Twitter conversation.
- Room reservations — don’t wait too long to find a good-sized room where you can host the party.
- Refreshments — once you have an idea on what the head count will be for the event, make sure to order enough refreshments.
As I said at the start, icitizen and AASCU will be hosting a national SOTU watch party — sign up today to get your spot. We’ll be sharing pre- and post-speech coverage, interactive polling and a Tweet-Up during the address. If you’re like me, then you know all about FOMO — and it hurts, a lot. So avoid the pain and fear of missing out, and join our watch party! Even if your school doesn’t host one, you can still tune in to icitizen for the live-stream!
Activist in Residence, – Stockton University/ Office of Service-Learning
Matches by themselves are mere sticks of wood dipped in chemicals. But struck against any rough surface — metal, the bottom of a shoe, or even a striker pad — the friction creates a force of energy that can light the world.
So too is a program at Stockton University gaining interest and traction. In 2013, the American Democracy Project at Stockton, called on campus The Political Engagement Project, supported the institution to create an Activist in Residence Program. Modelled after Activist in Residence Programs often found at social justice centers and women, gender and sexuality programs, the term-limited position at Stockton is the first in the nation facilitated through an ADP program.
In Fall 2013, Erin O’Hanlon arrived on the Stockton campus and became the first Activist in Residence (AIR). Erin worked in the community-based local rape crisis center for 16 years, and had established relationships at Stockton. While there, she focused on raising the activism of students interested in gender equity.
Among her many accomplishments she managed to activate students to develop a Women’s Center, as demonstrated in this video produced by a service-learning section of Perspectives on Women with Stockton faculty Emily Van Duyne. The story of how this came about is an interesting one.
Stockton wasn’t the last of the state colleges and universities to still not have a resource center focused on women, gender and sexuality issues, but they certainly weren’t in the forefront of a movement that had started in the 1970’s. Motivated for the university to organize these services on campus, faculty member and past-PEP co-chair Kristin Jacobson created a petition for members of the community to ask the institution to fund a center. Activist students on campus took up the challenge, several of which were in Van Duyne’s class that semester. The rest, as they say, was history.
In Fall 2014 the AIR position continued with Rona Whitehead. She had the daunting task of following in O’Hanlon’s footsteps. Whitehead worked for nearly two decades in youth development programs with a national nonprofit youth organization. She kept the match flaring by organizing a mini-grant program where students and student groups were able to apply for funds to create sustainable projects that made a difference in the community.
This turned out to be wildly successful, with students working in teams and organizations to establish programs on and off campus. One of the projects was developed by The Neuroscience Club on campus, focusing on brain safety and prevention of traumatic brain injuries. Their event, Save Your Brain, was attended by over 200 students. Their funds were used to purchase helmets, long boards and a bike that were offered as door prizes at the event. View an overview of the event here.
This fall the Office of Service Learning will continue to strike that match to carry on the momentum of the past two years with the AIR program. Whitehead is back on campus for Fall 2015, and this semester is focused exclusively on American Democracy Project activities. Continuing the legacy of Stockton’s unique brand of service-learning, Whitehead is focusing on civic related initiatives in the community with the assistance of an AIR team of students who work in the Office of Service-Learning. The initiatives will follow the passion of the AIR team and include food issues, mentoring and activism with high school students, engaging with children in Atlantic City, and coordinating a mini grant program for Service-Learning courses.
Director of The Office of Service-Learning, Daniel Fidalgo Tomé, recently said, “This program has ensured that our community partners have a place at the table.”
For more information, take a look at The Stockton University Office of Service-Learning website. Interested in having an Activist in Residence at your college or university? Here’s a link to a free Activist in Residence Toolkit to get you started.
Consider hosting a table at the Campus & Friends Showcase at the 2014 American Democracy Project/The Democracy Commitment National Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky.
CAMPUS & FRIENDS SHOWCASE
Thursday, June 5, 2014
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. (preview 3 p.m-3:30 pm)
For the ninth year in a row, we will feature the ever-popular Campus & Friends Showcase—a wonderful opportunity to share and celebrate your work and help others learn how to promote civic learning and engagement on their own campuses. There is no cost to participate. Simply complete this registration form, available here, no later than Monday, April 28, 2014.
The Campus and Friends Showcase will take place on Thursday, June 5th from 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. (preview 3 p.m-3:30 pm). The Showcase is designed as an exhibit area with tables available for presenters. People love to see what other campuses are doing with ADP/TDC, and the Showcase also serves as an important networking opportunity for project participants to connect with national leaders in the civic engagement movement.
It is important to note that the Campus & Friends Showcase is different than the poster sessions, which were solicited during the Call for Proposals. The poster session is designed to be more research-oriented, and the Showcase is set up as an exhibit to provide opportunities for information, networking, and collaboration.
More information about the purpose and structure of the Showcase, registration, the materials you should provide, and set-up details can be found here. If you have any questions, please email Cait Reilly at email@example.com.
If you haven’t already done so, don’t forget to register for the 2014 American Democracy Project/The Democracy Commitment National Meeting, June 5-7, 2014. To register for the meeting visit our website. Note: Earlybird registration rates end on April 30!