Monday, February 2, 2009

Tip of the Day: Work with Other Organizations

I apologize for not posting Tips of the Day every day last week. I have 3 tips to make up for, and will post them later this week.

Today's tip is to work with other organizations. You don't have to pretend that your organization is the only one on campus. In fact, if you do think this way, you are shooting yourself in the foot. A great way to increase your presence on campus and have more well attended events is to co-host them with other groups. This could range from co-hosting a speaker to having a debate with another group. The point is to have them as involved in the event as you are so that they invest their resources, time, and membership. There are many advantages to doing this:
  • Learning how other organizations function and discovering their best practices for holding events.
  • Educate other students/organizations about your group's existence and mission.
  • Have students from other organizations attend an event that you are hosting who otherwise would not have attended.
  • Gain greater legitimacy on campus by free-riding on the already-established organization's legitimacy.
  • Access other group's resources to make the event successful (e.g. money, campus connections, fliering strategies, etc.)
Be creative when thinking of organizations to work with. Go for the low-hanging fruit like NORML and business clubs, but also go for more uncommon partnerships like an event with the LGBT Center in celebration of the Lawrence v. Texas decision or the Undergraduate Minority Council on how the war on drugs adversely harms minority groups. You can even engage the campus socialists in a debate, which has its own range of benefits.

It is important to not seclude yourself from the campus community. Your organization should be at the forefront of activity. Working with other groups builds relationships and increases your organization's strength. Don't sacrifice your principles, but don't be scared to go beyond what you're used to.

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