Last week I held a dodgeball tournament to promote Your Life Your Right at Shippensburg University. However, the process began two weeks prior when I requested outdoor space at the “Quad.” It took the administrators assistant until 9:45 a.m. the day of the event to respond that my space was declined, an hour and 15 minutes before we were supposed to start. After some phone calls and jumping through more bureaucratic hoops, I was able to find out it was because they were considering the event to be a “sports event” and so had to be held on one of the rec fields (which just happen to be all the way in the back of the campus with no foot traffic). After some persuasion and threats to go to YAL’s lawyers for suppressing my right for free speech, I was able to convince them to allow me to use the very busy Quad as my field. Once I got started, an hour past schedule, I had my first contestant, a young man in our ROTC program wearing his army fatigues.
After stepping into the dodgeball field, he immediately figured out the way it was going and understood what we were showing. A few more people played the game but eventually my peers caught on and anyone that wanted to talk to us was already on our side. In order to attract more attention we just started passing out balls to random passersby and asking them if they wanted to hit us with balls (because we just have faces that scream “hit me with a ball”). This was an effective way of starting a conversation with people who probably wouldn’t have been interested otherwise. I was able to fill up a full sheet of names before it was time to call it a day.Published in