I was lucky enough to have a visit from my regional director, Mr. Adam Weinberg, and while he was in Hawai’i we invaded four campuses, and ended up starting chapters at each campus we invaded. I wanted to share some of the tactics that we used to start these chapters.
First, it is always good to be prepared. Before our invasion we made sure that we had a table, table clothe, banner, palm cards, sign-up lists, and we also brought a Operation Politically Homeless kit. A few days before we hit a campus I would email professors at the university to ask permission to speak in one of their classes.
I found it is pretty easy to convince political science professors to let me take up a few minutes of their class time to advertise for YAL. I would also advice preparing to be at the campus all day. In one day it is possible to plant the ground work for a chapter to grow, and it can be done by pretty much executing the mission of YAL; to identify, educate, train, and mobilize young people committed to winning on principle.
To identify the student leaders on each campus we got to campus early and looked for a place with a lot of foot traffic. Once we found a good place to recruit members we set up our table and started to talk to those who passed by. Every campus we visited we were able to table without interruption from school officials, and without permission, which is not typical, but we somehow flew under the radar at all four campuses. The OPH kit really helped with the identifying part of the campus invasion. Using this kit we were able to advertise the traditionally conservative side of YAL to the people who’s score shows them to be economically conservative; we advertised the classically liberal side of YAL to those whose score shows them to be socially liberal; and we paid special attention to those whose score put them high up in the libertarian area.
During our time on each campus I found that Adam and I spent a lot of time talking to students about the ideals that YAL promotes, and for many of the students that were not familiar with libertarian philosophy we had to educate them on the spot. Once we had identified some potential student leaders, and educated them on some of the opportunities that YAL provides, we made sure to setup a time later that day when we could meet with all the strong sign-ups we collected during our time tabling.
At each campus that we visited we ended up tabling for about four hours, and afterwards we would arrange an introductory meeting later that day to help train those who were really interested in starting a YAL chapter on their campus. When we had a meeting time established we made sure to call or text all the sign-ups that we collected to ensure that everyone was aware of our meeting. At the meeting we would train them on the process of starting a YAL chapter, and making an impact on their campus.
After Identifying, educating, and training students at a new campus, I found it is very important to help with the creation of the new chapter as much as possible. At the introductory meeting we would provide students with all the necessary paperwork they needed to become an official student organization on their campus, and usually at these meetings we were able to get many of the applications complete for both the schools and YAL national.
We would also put all the sign-ups that we collected in an excel file and provide it to the student leaders we identified, and we would follow up with those student leaders by email that same day with information on different resources available. After the campus invasion, there is a lot of follow up that can be done to help foster the growth of a new chapter, connecting sign-ups to the YAL site, Facebook groups, and each other through email, are all things that help these new chapters organize, get resources, and get started.
At the four campuses that Adam and I visited we were able to collect around 130 sign-ups, and we have followed up with every sign-up to help mobilize them to start their YAL chapter and begin being active on their campuses. In order to mobilize the new chapters I have attended most of their first meetings, shown some of the leaders how to run a meeting, and I have suggested activism ideas for these new chapters to do on campus.
We hope to have an active chapter at the Brigham University of Hawai’i, University of Hawai’i at West O’ahu, University of Hawai’i at Hilo, and Leeward Community College before the end of the month, and some of the chapters are already planning their first activism events!Published in