Em-URGE-ing Voices

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Four Things I Learned as a Campus Organizer

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April 28, 2014

1382137_650188595013341_613347361_nIn less than two weeks, I will be graduating from college. I will listen to a lot of that Vitamin C song, toss my cap up in the air and cry over my student loans.

In all seriousness, I have learned so much in the last four years; I can’t imagine who I would be today without being a campus organizer. From me to you, here are the top four things I learned from my experiences and my peers.

1)      It’s about being ORGANIZED!

Having a plan is so essential to making change on campus. If you aren’t strategically planning for social change on your campus, then there are some obvious loopholes that will make the process unnecessarily longer. This isn’t just the big details either; this also includes the smaller parts that make up the big picture. For example, make sure that you have pens and clipboards when you do petitions, or that when you hand out condoms, that you have a container to put them in. And when planning the small and big details, don’t forget that…

2)      It takes time. A lot of time.

There will be roadblocks. Sometimes people who hold power don’t answer emails or phone calls. Other times it takes time to plan and get things rolling. Don’t expect things on campus to change overnight from one single protest. It takes a series of steps to make changes at any institution. Don’t give up, because the work you’re doing is so important for students!

3)      Always mentor younger peers.

Don’t stop mentoring. Ever. This is one of the most important tools for social change. If you don’t engage with younger students, then your organization will never last.  It goes beyond just talking to them about your organization. Invite them to your next event, talk to them directly about the stake they hold in reproductive and social justice, and become friends!  If you are both interested in reproductive justice, then you may have a bunch of other things in common! Have pizza parties, binge-watch Netflix and host sleepovers! Which leads to the last piece of advice, which is to…

4)      Have fun!

If you’re not having a blast in your organization, or holding tables and events, then why are you doing it? Sometimes social change isn’t all rainbows and smiles, but for the most part, organizing on campus should be something you enjoy.


Organizing on campus has been the best experience of college. Always aim for strategic, tangible change with your work, remember your passion and take care of yourself.

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