This year, join YAL chapters across the country to bring attention to one of the scariest things we encounter in our daily lives — big government.

Big Government is being spotted all over the country. It’s showing up in peoples homes, workplace, and everywhere you could imagine. Take this opportunity to educate your fellow students about the zombies in government who need to feed on the living in order to survive.

For this activism event, your chapter can really get creative. YAL recommends displaying a Civil Liberties Graveyard on your campus to show how many liberties have died under our government of ghouls, or you can draw upon the various YALoween events of other chapters for inspiration.

The three goals of every activism event are to:

  1. Educate new students in the ideas of liberty
  2. Recruit new members for your YAL chapter
  3. Earn media attention for your event to expand its outreach
No matter how your chapter chooses to have fun with this event, following these steps will ensure that you optimize the outcome of your event:
  1. Reach out to YAL’s Leadership Team for support: YAL’s Leadership Team is your number-one tool for success. Find a YAL leader near you who can help you execute your activism event. Your Regional Director and the State Chairs in your area are your best resource for learning how to organize an effective activism event. If either position has not yet been filled, learn more and apply to join the Leadership Team here.
  2. Apply for resources: YAL is offering FREE resources and recommendations to every participating YAL chapter:
    • An activism grant for up to $100
    • A recruitment kit packed with materials, clip boards, sidewalk chalk, books, flyers, a political quiz and chart, and everything else you’ll need to draw students to your chapter.
    • We’ve also created a fun Government Zombies Flyer (color) (B&W)
  3. Always recruit for liberty: With every activism event you do, you should recruit new members. Print out plenty of YAL sign-up sheets to sign up interested students. When your event is over, use the Member Upload Tool to upload all your new members’ information to your chapter page. Once you upload member information, each new member will get an email asking them to join your chapter.
  4. Make your plans:

Meet up with your chapter members and plan the dates and details for your activism event. Take some time to brainstorm and put your ideas on paper. After a productive meeting, you should walk away with a clear and executable plan with specific tasks assigned to your members.

Ask yourselves some basic questions: What do you want to do? Who is going to do what? When are you going to do it? How much preparation time is needed? When are you going to meet again to prepare?

Always keep in mind the three most important goals for any activism project:

1. Recruit new members
2. Educate your classmates
3. Earn media attention

For each activism event, there are two major components:

  1. An on-campus tabling exercise, including visual display and/or interactive quiz, to recruit new members and promote your upcoming YALOWEEN meeting/event.
  2. A large chapter meeting/event to educate all attendees and discuss the issue you want to address. This could be a speaker, PowerPoint presentation, politician, professor, movie, and/or general discussion.

Choose an event

For your event, get creative with your chapter about how you want to spread the ideas of liberty on campus. You can draw a lot of inspiration from seeing what other YAL chapters have done for their events!

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Civil Liberties Graveyard

One of the most popular ways YAL chapters have executed their events is by building and displaying a “civil liberties graveyard” in order to catch student’s attention, and show them just how scary big government is.

If you want to attract new recruits, then you have to gain their attention. There are two simple ways to grab any student’s attention while tabling:
1. Engage students to interact with you,
2. And build a large display students cannot ignore.

For this activism event, your chapter will need some very simple supplies in order to build your civil liberties graveyard:

  • Wood, thick cardboard, or styrofoam to make your tombstones out of
  • Wood or metal pegs to attach your tombstones to and place in the ground
  • Gray spray paint or liquid paint for your base coat on your tombstones, and
  • White or black spray paint or liquid paint for writing your deceased liberties

You might also choose to save some time by purchasing cheap, pre-cut “tombstones” that you can then paint and write various liberties on.

graveyard2

Regardless of how you choose to make your tombstones, make sure that they are bold and will catch students’ attention when you put them up next to your recruitment table.

Reserve a high-traffic area to table on campus once you have picked your dates for execution. As a recognized student organization, it should be as simple as contacting your student affairs office and jumping through the necessary hoops to receive permission to table.

If your YAL chapter is not yet officially recognized by your university and it won’t let you reserve tabling space, don’t fear. Get creative, and always remember that the table doesn’t get recruits: you do.

If your campus gives you any trouble and tries to relegate your activism to a “free speech zone,” please contact us so we can help you defeat these unconstitutional regulations.

Reserve a classroom and the necessary video equipment, to accommodate your goals for your follow-up event. Predict how many students you think will attend the film screening, and reserve a room to accommodate.

Pro tip: Always reserve rooms that are only big enough to accommodate 75% of the amount of people you expect to show up. It is better for everyone to think that your event ended up having standing room only when you host it in a smaller room rather than think that no one showed up when you host it in a large auditorium.

We strongly suggest that you walk through the room before the event, so you understand how the equipment works and how to set up the room properly.

If you have planned your event adequately, your tabling and promoting for your follow-up event should be a lot of fun!

  1. The night before you start, saturate your campus with flyers, posters, and chalked notices. Make your message unmissable. Click here for YAL branding information, logos, etc. you’ll use to make your materials look great.
  2. Before your activism, spook your statist professors with a press release to local and campus newspapers. Make follow up phone calls to media outlets and stop by your campus paper’s news desk in person to talk about covering your event. Click here to learn how to get media attention and write a good press release.
  3. “Treat” your campus to the facts: Print bone-chilling facts about taxes, our X number of wars, or any other topic on one side of small strips of paper, and print your YAL chapter’s contact and meeting info on the other side. Tape them to pieces of candy or goody bags.
  4. If you’ve chosen to build a civil liberties graveyard, then put your display near your table. Make sure that the display faces an area where there is high student traffic. Start engaging students by distributing education information and signing up new recruits.
  5. Be sure to dress for the occasion! Wearing Halloween costumes at your table can be a fun way for your members to display their personality and engage students that walk by your table.

Sign up EVERYONE

Stay focused. The purpose of every activism event is to build your chapter and grow the youth movement for liberty. Have plenty of Halloween candy for students who sign up to hear more from your group and who come to your follow up event.

Always keep YAL sign up sheets on hand. Sign up everyone you possibly can, and make sure to upload their contact information to your chapter page using the member upload tool. And always follow up with the students who have signed up at your table.

Pro tip: Ask every student who you get to stop at your table to sign up for a reminder about the follow up event, and ask them if they can make it to the event. Students are more likely to follow through on something they verbally commit to.

Distribute flyers at your table, and post them around campus to promote your follow-up event. Be sure to create a Facebook event and invite all your friends and YAL members. Write with chalk on campus sidewalks to educate students about your activism effort and promote your follow up event. Think of creative ways to get the word out. You can never promote too much!

Earn Media Attention

Even if it’s your campus paper, getting media attention for your activism event can reach hundreds, if not thousands, more people. Use these resources to learn how you can make the news at the campus, local, state, or even national level!

Host a productive follow-up meeting/event

You only have one chance to make a good first impression. Your first meeting after your Recruitment Drive should set the proper tone you want to convey as a chapter. That’s why YAL created a guide to running a successful meeting so that you can know exactly how to retain your new members with your meeting.

Here are some great resources for your informational meeting.

Host your event to featuring a speaker, a documentary screening or a presentation as soon as possible. Your event should be within a couple days of your tabling activities so students don’t forget.

Make it fun and themed. Bring traditional Halloween foods and treats to entice students to come. You could even just make your follow-up event a fun and relaxed Halloween-themed social.

Schedule the meeting during an evening time slot which will conflict with the fewest number of classes possible, and don’t schedule events (other than socials) on weekends — don’t give your new recruits any reason not to attend!

Follow up or fail

Sign-ups are worth nothing if you don’t execute a proper follow up with each new contact you have and get them to your follow-up event.

After you’ve conducted your recruitment effort, host a follow-up meeting to plug all of your new sign-ups into your chapter. This is the perfect time to be creative with how you get your new sign-ups to engage in your YAL chapter and how you can educate them on the philosophy of liberty through YALOWEEN.

Follow up in multiple ways

Don’t rely on email follow ups: no one reads them besides the government. Be sure to give each interested student a personal phone call and ask them if they can come to your next meeting. Remember, students are more likely to follow through with something that they verbally commit to do.

After you’ve called everyone, send a follow up text the day of your event to round up any stragglers who wouldn’t show up otherwise. Try something like this:

“Hey [name], this is [name] from YAL. Thanks for stopping by our Civil Liberties Graveyard the other day. It was great getting meeting you. We’re all getting ready for our follow-up meeting and social right now. Can’t wait to see you at [time]!”

Email will only serve as a good reminder to those whom you’ve already reached by phone, text, and social media.

Engage

At the meeting, begin by introducing YAL and explain how to get involved in your chapter. Next, screen your film or give your speaker the floor. After the meeting, offer an opportunity to socialize by going out for pizza, drinks, or whatever works best for your chapter to discuss the meeting and the ideas of liberty.

Conduct follow ups consistently even after students have come to their first YAL meeting. Consistent communication with students is the only way to ensure that they establish lasting friendships within your chapter, and therefore, stay involved after their first exposure to YAL.

Use the Member Upload Tool to upload all your new members’ information to your chapter page.

You can greatly increase the impact of your chapter’s activism efforts by documenting and sharing your story with other YAL activists on the YAL national blog. If you’re a chapter officer, it’s simple: Click here.

Learn how to properly document your activism event. Read this quick guide or watch this short (and funny) video to learn how you can submit the best activism blog posts.

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  • Have detailed reports: Post all your pictures, give us all the details, and share with us how students reacted to your YAL-o-ween activism.
  • Include your best pictures and video: Take as many photos as you can including action shots and group photos. Aim for at least 5 awesome pictures in your report. Include short videos (about 3-4 minutes). Make them upbeat, and mix in some music. Post your video to YouTube and embed the video in your chapter report.
  • Include how many recruits you got: A primary goal of every activism event is to recruit new members into your YAL chapter. Share in your blog post how many sign-ups you got, how many participants you had in your event, and how many students you engaged overall.
  • Include all of your earned media: Chapters that earn media attention reach a much wider audience and greater respect on campus. Include links to all of your media coverage in your report.

Hopefully, you had a lot of fun executing your YALOWEEN event already, but offering an opportunity for all of your chapter members to celebrate the hard work that they have done for liberty is always a good idea.

Plan a social, and invite all of the students that you reached through your YALOWEEN event so that they can get to know your YAL chapter better. Your YAL chapter will only succeed if you make it a source of friendship and camaraderie for your members!

People may first become interested in your YAL chapter because of the ideas of liberty, but no one will stay as a member unless your chapter proves to be a source of camaraderie and friendship for them.

Use this Momentum for Your Next Activism Project!

Through conducting a successful YALOWEEN event, you won’t convince everyone to join your chapter, but you’ll see your membership grow quickly. You’ll be thankful you put in the effort when you have a record-setting turnout at your next chapter meeting!

Remember, every event you do on campus should be used as a launching pad for your next big project so don’t let your momentum end with this Recruitment Drive! Use this energy to mobilize for your next big activism project. Check out YAL’s most recent National Activism project.

Contact your Regional Director with any questions you have!