At the end of last spring semester, the YAL chapter at the University of Central Arkansas was in a very dire state. We had been unsuccessful at engaging young liberty-minded students on campus, but had dwindled to an organization of two people by the time graduation came around.
Refusing to give up on liberty on campus, we recruited three all-star students activists over the summer. Armed with our passion and awesome activism skills from YALCon 2014, we set about reviving our chapter and recruiting new students. Our members reached out to roommates, floormates, classmates, and fellow volunteers to grow UCA YAL’s ranks. But our main event was the RSO fair during the first week of school. Our Student Government gave us false information about what day the fair was taking place, but we overcame their efforts, our lack of preparation, and the extreme windiness and ran a successful recruitment drive anyway.
We collected more than 50 sign-ups in one day! This was about 30% fewer than the recruitment drive last year, but we knew that sign-ups were a shallow measurement of the health of an organization. Active members are more important.
We held two informational meetings, one for commuters and one for resident students. The first meeting had four people in attendance (all of whom are actively involved in the chapter now!), but the second meeting had an attendance of 20! This means that nearly half the amount of people who originally signed up attended our meetings! About 18 of the 24 who attended the information meeting(s) were present for the second meeting as well.
We haven’t held an actual activism event yet, so how effective we can be remains to be seen, but for now we can proudly claim an active member yield of 36% from our original sign-up sample of 50. Quality over quantity, right? We look forward to an amazing rest of the year of activism and recruiting in Arkansas!