ūüí° Ideas for Campus Organizing

  • Make a 3 years plan and a 5 years stretch goal plan
    • 3 years speed goals to coincide with climate change and next Presidential General Election¬†
      • should have actionable goals and deadlines and projections in 6 month/semester increments - and these goals get report backs or reminders through basecamp
    • 5 years stretch goals to coincide with mid-term elections + post pres¬†
    • INCLUDE STRETCH GOALS and contingency organizing plans for various situations (a war breaks out, funding for education gets cut, nationwide strikes etc, campus organizing banned, etc, trump gets impeached, natural disasters domestic and international etc)
    • Also keep in mind graduation dates of members to make smooth transitions so campuses don't die - connect with the nearby locals to help out when people get real busy or graduation time/summertime¬†
    • Also possibly make an EMERGENCY ACTION gameplan if shit hits the fan
  • Young Greens Master Toolkit NOW URGENT ASAP
    • make a pdf NASA manual for starting campus chapters - PDF printable guide to everything they would possibly need - by-laws and platform stuff - examples of events/activities (social, educational, community, activism, campaigns) - consensus and facilitation - contact lists - locals/state/national info - history of gp - 10kvs whatever else is needed¬†
    • google drive (viewable only or comments only) for YGUS Campus Organizing to dump everything that they may possibly need to get off the ground and running - including the PDF MANUAL easily printable (date it so they know when it's from - the sections that may change date those as well so they know if they have an outdated section)
    • physical materials - we should aim to have things mostly done via the internet and then sharing, then printing/production at the campus chapter. we should definitely have lists of PHYSICAL things that campus chapters would need (super simple base kit to get started, then direct action day suggestions, book suggestions, whatever else yall think) that they can then purchase for themselves or we can send money for them to purchase. They will have on-campus organization banking assistance (or at least that was how it worked at my school) which will make it a lot easier for them to get their money situation sorted. they can even ask for grants for projects probably from the university. they should get free prints as well.¬†
      • we could send swag (tshirts, buttons, stickers, bumper stickers) to them though for them to sell or just use to get them started (university students will always wear dope tshirts if we give them the chance)¬†
      • We should make a few nationwide young green t-shirt designs that are super legit and gorgeous and share them around and get them printed and distributed sometime in this upcoming fall or spring semester for fundraising for young greens and also to get some awesome swag for people to wear and represent.
  • create a private facebook group to connect those who are working on campus organizing connect/share/support each other - facebook is easier for newbies and for people we don't know yet
  • make a separate Basecamp channel just for on-campus organizing and then crosspost/copy materials posts to there so there is one central place for campus organizing info/conversation
    • I NEED CLEAR DATES AND DEADLINES - We are all very very busy and transparency and clear goals and deadlines are key to keeping everyone on the same page and organizing in a timely matter. We could organize these around semester starts/middles/ends, around big events like elections etc. In general being open with the wider YGUS group¬† (at least those that are on basecamp) about the master plan and master timeline and goals would allow for less frustrations and greater coordination and probably more success. We can utilize the to-do lists, reminders, scheduler, and check-in features on basecamp for this.¬†
  • Capital Campuses - try to have a strong campus chapter in almost every state capital to get involved with protests, actions, campaigns, and state legislature participation¬†
    • could also target large metro areas in the big big states (Texas for example - one in Houston, one in Austin, one in Dallas/FortWorth, one in Lubbock, one in El Paso for example)
    • Also typically capital protests/actions and things have the largest coverage on the media and largest visibility.¬† ¬†
  • Don't forget the South please - We have Texas mostly taken care of if yall can supply the goods and direction but i will also take any and all advice and help you are willing to give, but please make sure the other states in the south are getting support, materials, and guidance, and that we have at least one good chapter in each southern state. Could target the biggest schools (SEC/BIG 10/BIG 12 etc) these are usually giant campuses with 45-60k+ students.¬†
  • Know your target audience - STUDENTS
    • We should be generally organizing students in this manner I believe around these different events/items:
      • Social - make socializing events where they can make friends and create a community for them to hang out and have fun and do awesome shit together. Make it a place where they can feel comfortable to carpool and travel places together as well as potentially find roommates (much easier to organize if you're living together etc) Could have things like board game nights, potlucks, parties, study sessions, etc just make it fun. (For example in Austin we have "Socialize with Socialists - Board Game Night" at our Austin office for people to come together
      • Educational - educational meetings around direct action training, facilitation, campaigning political/historical, socialism/communism, activism organizing, philosophical, as well as around issues they need to discuss and know about (student debt, housing crisis, healthcare crisis, police brutality, drug wars and epidemics, climate change and climate disruption, jobs crisis, precariat and basic income, etc etc)¬†
      • Activism - have activism days, direct action training, get good turnout to Action Days protests/rallies/marches/strikes etc, as well as doing voter registration and voter education, blockwalking, petition driving etc
      • Community - make events to get the students involved in the local community and grow the skills and caring that they will take with them to their next place in life. help out the community - trash cleanups, planting trees and community gardens, food not bombs, helping the homeless, hosting potlucks that are either vegan or mostly vegan for students to come eat on campus, hosting coffee/snack break events during midterms and finals (maybe have the locals who aren't students help with this), in general anything that will help the wider community and the student community, as well as help the students grow.¬†
      • Campaigns - organizing campaigns, campaigning, ballot access drives, blockwalking, phonebanking/textbanking/facebanking, fundraising drives, petition drives, social media campaigns, getting good turnout or even hosting precinct conventions, hosting candidates and debates, voter registration, poll watcher, poll workers, working directly on campaigns or helping campaigns for nonpartisan local races as well as larger races like statewide seats/congress/governor/presidential¬†
    • Take care of our people
      • We need to be creating resource/information/knowledge banks and helping students¬† along their university life and then after journey. Teaching them about their student debt and helping them navigate that or directing them to the place that can do that. Helping them know about and access career resources and building resumes and CVs and applications to join good organizations or companies where they can do good and not be corporate sellouts. Also helping them know where the healthcare resources are in that local community and from the state/national, what insurance is, advocating for single payer in the meantime etc.¬†
      • We could also set up couchsurfing or carpooling for people to visit each other's campuses or cities when they're in town or when they go to large events like ANMs or action days/marches etc.¬†
      • Each campus chapter can be their own little thing, but being connected to the wider YG community and infrastructure is the best part. you can identify with that wider structure and feel connected to it and that you're not alone. this would be really important for campus chapters just starting out with just a few people or those on small and difficult to organize campuses.¬†
        • breaking this down further - Those campuses that get selected for priority focus and resources could then become hubs later for other nearby universities and community colleges and they could then provide support and training to other new chapters that startup around them.¬†
      • Because we live in a stupid resume/cv/good grades/credentials bs kind of world and students are going to be forced to think about that - we need to be creating a student organization that will benefit them in the long run during and after school. if they are going to be spending their precious time with YG instead of other organizations or part time jobs or studying or resting - they need to see something tangible for it that they can use to navigate this shitty country - either it being a good mindset about the world or an actual job or both
These are just some of the ideas that I had during our call and after that I would like to see for the Young Greens on campuses. I have never done political organizing on campus - I was just an event organizer and President for a Japan Club language-learning/international student organization on campus at Texas A&M. I would love to learn more about your campus organizing experiences and what you think would benefit Texas going forward into this school year and those that follow over the next few years. 

Peace, love, and solidarity,
Alison Bittick