Thursday, July 15, 2010

Feminist Student Leadership Campaign

One of the reasons I was passionate about working for the Feminist Majority Foundation this summer was the opportunity to work with their Campus Choices Leadership Campaign.

As a feminist leader on my own campus, I struggled for two and a half years without guidance until I found out about FMF. However, while I was working independently I was able to run a successful campaign for an elected position in my school's student government.

From that vantage point I have been able to achieve a lot of positive, progressive changes on my campus that I don't think I would have been capable of doing as a regular student. Therefore, I'm excited to collaborate with the Campus Choices Leadership Campaign on refining their current feminist student leadership program, which aims to inspire feminist leaders on college campuses to run for student government positions.

Please look over this sample of a campaign and election timeline for how to run a successful feminist candidate for student government. If you have any comments or concerns, or ideas on how this could be more helpful to you, please let me know. I hope this timeline will inspire those of you who are still in college to run for student government: it really is as easy as this!

Sample Campaign and Election Timeline

●Research your school’s student government and election process. Find out the date of the election and rules for participation. Also research what kind of voting system is used (choice voting, popular election, etc.). Your strategy will be different depending on the voting system; for instance, it may benefit you to run on a slate with other candidates in a choice voting system.
●Contact your FMF Campus Organizer for materials on planning, running, and winning a successful student government campaign.
●Decide who from your FMLA or feminist campus group will run for office.
●Arrange a meeting with other progressive clubs on campus and ask if they have candidates that want to join your slate.
●With the collaborating clubs, decide what your candidate’s platform goals will be and what change you will bring to campus. Make sure these are attainable goals and that you have a plan for their implementation.
●When the candidates are decided, create facebook groups for each individual candidate, as well as a group for the slate as a whole. Also create an event for the election date itself that you can invite your supporters to.
●Develop your outreach strategy. Arrange for class announcements, club announcements, flyering, chalking, buttons and t-shirts.
●Make a schedule of club meetings and classes that you would like to attend and start your visits as early as necessary (but not too early, because you want to make sure people remember your message when it comes time to vote).
●Design flyers with a unifying theme for your slate that outlines your platform. Make sure that your designs for buttons and t-shirts match your flyers -- this is branding.
●If you haven’t already, start making class announcements and club visits.
●If your school allows it, send emails to list servs you may be on.
●See if you can write an opinion piece for your school newspaper(s) about your campaign, or ask if they will interview you or endorse you. Try every media source on your campus (including radio and tv).
●Begin flyering the campus and giving buttons to supporters.
●If allowed, make A-frames. An A-frame is a large standing sign. You can also find out if you’re allowed to post signs on stakes. If so, prepare those as well.
●Collect email addresses or phone numbers of supporters so that you can call or email them during elections to remind them to vote.
●Give tshirts to the core team of supporters and ask them to flyer for you and gather signatures at any major crossroads on your campus.
●Begin chalking in classrooms.
●Put A-frames on campus.
●Have a pizza night at a supporter’s house, bring your laptops, and make sure everyone you all know that is online has voted.
●Make sure you chalk classrooms and sidewalks, reminding people to vote.
●Had out quarter sheet flyers with reminders to vote for you.

NOTE: Some of these techniques require money. If you do not have the resources to employ these techniques, there are also plenty of free tactics you can use. For more advice on financing your campaign, please contact your campus organizer.

1 comment:

derobinson said...

L O V E. And I'm digging the picture! =)