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VOX

Vox Organizing Tools


Organizing On Campus

  1. Subscribe to the Vox email listserve. The listserve allows Vox students across the country to communicate with each other and exchange ideas. Email vox-subscribe@topica.com.
  2. 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 and opposition.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 www.protectchoice.org.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Use campus resources. Some schools have their own graphic designer or copy center. Look into the resources your college provides for its student organizations.
  5. 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 opposition.

  1. Never repeat the opponent's message.
  2. If you find yourself rambling, STOP!
  3. Use personal anecdotes and compelling statistics in your message.
  4. Speak up for your group - PP believes, Vox believes...
  5. 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 might create.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Prepare for 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.

Other General Tips

  1. Keep a folder or binder of all your paperwork and organizing tools so they are easy to find and use.
  2. Keep a list of contacts, including email addresses and phone numbers, of important people and groups.
  3. Create an email listserve of all members so that you can contact them quickly and efficiently.