Last semester, our chapter focused heavily on building ties on campus with our efforts to give back to our community. We did this by building a coalition with our campus’ Volunteer and Service Center. By volunteering multiple times in various events, we built a relationship with the campus organization to the point that they would contact our members individually when they needed volunteers. It was a great way to build up our name and legitimacy on campus. We still have a great relationship with members of the Volunteer and Service Center.
This semester our focus was oriented in a different direction due to the election season. We partnered not only with the political science and public administration’s honor societies, but with our school’s ASI Lobby Corps as well. We co-hosted three presidential debate viewing parties at our campus pub where we provided pizza and drinks for the attendees as they watched the debates. Following the debates, commentary was provided by a panel of political science professors that gave analysis. A question and answer session following the analysis gave students an opportunity to discuss what would be the effects of the debate on the coming election.
After those successful events, we were contacted by both honors societies on campus to co-host an election night results party, as they were impressed with our dedication. We happily agreed and had a great night in our student union, as we provided not only access to news network’s results in real time, but free pizza, drinks, bowling, and billiards. In addition to that, ASI Lobby Corps also found us dependable and contacted us to provide volunteers to table on campus to direct voters to our local voting location on campus, which we enthusiastically did.
What we have been able to take away from these events is the importance of building ties with multiple on-campus organizations to establish YAL as a major player on campus. The more we build coalitions with different organizations at our school, the more legitimacy we gain in the minds of the campus community. By building coalitions, we have recruited many new members with our tabling efforts during the events, and have been able to spread our message wider when people ask what our club is all about.