Campus Living Wage Manual
Once you have a group of people who are interested in working on a campus living wage, you'll need to get organized so that you can effectively work on the many different issues a campaign must address.
At your meetings, have a facilitator who will collect agenda items and lead the discussion, ensuring that everyone's voice is heard, but also making sure that meetings move as quickly and smoothly as possible. You can choose to rotate facilitation or delegate the responsibility to one person. Keeping meetings short and efficient can be very important to maintaining your support base. If you have to sit through a two-hour meeting every week to be involved, you might not remain so.
Set up systems of communication and decision making to keep your group running smoothly. For example, define whether decisions are made by consensus or a majority vote, and who is entitled to vote or block consensus
The key to a successful group is making every possible effort to come up with solutions that are supported by the majority of its members, through principled compromise and developing alternative solutions. Someone who feels like their view is respected will come back again. If you operate by vote, consider requiring a two-thirds majority for approval. This way you will be forced to come up with a plan that at least most people are happy with. You can't do a big demonstration if 49% of your group isn't pumped for it.
Not everything can or should be decided at meetings, however. Email lists are a great way to keep people in touch and up to date. You can just send an email to everyone in the group and have people 'reply to all', but you might prefer to talk to the computer center at your school about setting up a mailing list. A word of caution: if you don't know everyone who is one your mailing list, be careful about sending information that you wouldn't want administrators to know. Don't be paranoid, and most of the time it won't matter, but for some action plans you may want to lay low.
Though your group may or may not have official positions, you will still need to delegate responsibility to get things done. If you try to work out every detail in a meeting you'll be there forever. Come up with a general plan and then have someone or a small group take over. Avoid assigning things to people but when something comes up in meeting, ask "Does anyone want to be in charge of this?" and usually someone will offer. Having specific people in charge of specific tasks will make sure things get done and you will always know who to ask for updates. Also try to set timetables at the meeting for when you expect to finish projects just to keep things moving.
Giving people responsibilities, especially new people, is also an excellent way to keep them involved. If someone is interested but has no specific task they may not feel like they're involved. Once you've done work for a group, you feel like you're a real contributing part of it: you've made a personal investment and you'll come back again. Most people who show up to meetings want responsibility, but may be shy to ask for it or may feel like they don't know enough to do good work. Really focus (without pressuring) on getting new people involved on specific projects.
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