Vox Organizing Tools
Organizing On Campus
- Subscribe to the Vox email listserve. The listserve
allows Vox students across the country to communicate with each
other and exchange ideas. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Learn about your campus. Get to know your student body. Are
they progressive or conservative? What kind of events are they most likely
to attend. Talk to your friends and professors to find out how students
will react to your Vox group. Identify potential sources of both support
- Contact your campus activities board to find out how to get your
group officially recognized by your college. Many colleges offer
special privileges to officially recognized student groups. Find out your
college's policies regarding starting a new student organization and using
university space to hold meetings or events.
- Reach out to other campus organizations. As you start out,
having the support of a strong, already established group on your campus
can help you attract people to events and gain attention on campus.
Contact progressive groups, women's groups, sororities and fraternities,
the political science or women's studies departments on your campus, etc.
- Be creative! Students have a lot to think about - school, work,
friends, and clubs. You will be competing for their attention so you must
think of new and unique ways to get them interested in your group.
- Visit the Pro-choice Education Project for free ads. PEP offers
free pro-choice advertisements to student organizers to use to attract
students' attention. Visit their website
Hosting events are great ways to attract students to your group because
they are entertaining and informative. Hold a small meeting for interested
members to define your group's mission, members, and goals. Then hold a
kick-off party to introduce your group to the rest of the campus. Invite
the campus newspaper to cover the event. Here are some other tips to help
you hold a successful event.
- Be creative.
Vox has already come up with a
couple ideas to help you get started. They have also put together a list
of interesting dates - such as Women's History Month, Teen Pregnancy
Prevention Month, and AIDS Awareness Day. Visit
http://www.ppfa.org/vox/020801_events_5.pdf for more information.
- Make a budget. Make a list of what you will need at your event
and how much each item costs. Remember to include room rental fees and
food expenses. If you need help raising money, ask your Planned Parenthood
affiliate or other campus groups to co-sponsor the event - you can split
the cost and attract more people.
- Advertise! Advertise! Advertise! Catchy posters and publicity
materials are very important. Post fliers in residence halls, student
centers, and bathrooms. Look into purchasing an ad in your campus
newspaper or on campus radio. Send email reminders over your listserve and
to other groups' listserves. Ask other organizations how they advertise
their events for more ideas.
- Use campus resources. Some schools have their own graphic
designer or copy center. Look into the resources your college provides for
its student organizations.
- Work with other like-minded groups. Host a religion and choice
discussion at Hillel, hold a registration drive with College Democrats and
Republicans, or celebrate the anniversary of Roe v. Wade with the Women's
Studies or History departments. Working with other groups will attract
more students to your event and your group.
As a pro-choice activist, you may be challenged by anti-choice
hardliners on your views. Here are some tips to help you talk to the
- Never repeat the opponent's message.
- If you find yourself rambling, STOP!
- Use personal anecdotes and compelling statistics in your message.
- Speak up for your group - PP believes, Vox believes...
- Agree to disagree. You will probably not convert your
anti-choice opponent to be pro-choice. If you find yourself in a corner,
simply say, "We disagree on this point," and move on.
When planning a Vox event, you should keep the security of your
attendees in mind and be prepared to deal with any opposition your event
- Know your campus environment. Be aware
of anti-choice activity on your campus and anticipate what kind of
anti-choice activity - if any - your event might prompt. Know your campus
rules for demonstrations and counter protests.
- Work with campus and local law
enforcement, if necessary. Contact your campus and local law
enforcement well in advance of your event to discuss security concerns if
you have any.
opposition at your event. If you know that an anti-choice group may
plan a counter demonstration to your event, contact your affiliate for
suggestions on how to prepare for it.
- Keep a folder or binder of all your paperwork
and organizing tools so they are easy to find and use.
- Keep a list of contacts, including email
addresses and phone numbers, of important people and groups.
- Create an email listserve of all members so
that you can contact them quickly and efficiently.