Kickoff the academic year with food; provide club info; inspire new colleagues to get involved.
- Increase visibility of club early on
- Communicate the importance of allyship
- Provide easy ways to get involved with the club
- Provide easy ways to learn more about allyship
- Solicit feedback and general thoughts from incoming class on their thoughts, challenges, and hopes around allyship
Theory of Change
- First impressions matter. In the beginning of the school year, it’s very important to be visible to students to solidify the club’s legitimacy as a school institution
- Getting feedback early on about where incoming students are with allyship helps to shift framing and potentially programming to capture more interest
- Incoming students’ general enthusiasm helps get them motivated to care about allyship and involved in the club.
- Incoming students aren’t yet overwhelmed with commitments. This is an opportunity to get in front of them while they can still dedicate time to the allyship club
Costs and food
Food and drink
Target / likely audience
Enthusiastic and receptive men
Location / Participation Size
- Find a nice and spacious area, potentially for a BBQ or potluck.
- If planning the event outside (i.e. a BBQ), reserve a backup location in case of bad weather conditions. Don’t let the weather ruin your turnout!
- Potentially – Sound amplification for speeches
- Potentially – Projection to show a short video
Other resources needed
- Handouts (e.g. flyers, postcards) that explain club basics (i.e. mission statement), how to join, event calendar (or next event), a quote about the club’s importance
- Survey to get feedback from incoming members about their thoughts, challenges, and hopes around allyship
Special recruitment considerations
Because this is a kickoff event, for incoming students it’s important to get in front of them early.
Roles and responsibilities
- Allyship club lead – Make speech and motivational pitch
- Program lead – Getting all the event logistics together, ensuring cooperation and coordination with other clubs, especially other affinity clubs and groups to make sure the date/time of the event works well. Gathers feedback. Sends follow-up emails after event.
- Female speaker – Make speech and motivational pitch
- Food logistics – Order food, ensure proper tableware (plates, cups, utensils, napkins, etc), ensure food delivery arrives to right location on time.
- Photography, social media, and documentation – Take pictures during event. Document learnings to be shared out to larger audience.
- Active members – Have personal conversations about allyship and club activities with perspective members
Agenda / Program
- As folks show up, have ready:
- Club info handouts
- Email list to sign
- Membership sign up – and ways to distinguish between these different things
- People hang out and eat food for 30-45 minutes
- Speakers begin
- Male club lead and female student speaker (i.e. WIB leader) should each give a 5-minute talk (importance of Allyship, sharing an impactful story, sharing why they care and are involved, how incoming students can get involved, getting educated on the issues, taking corrective action). Male speaker should talk about club mission statement, positions, programs
- People go back to eating and socializing. Be sure to collect email addresses from people to sign them up. Don’t trust them to sign themselves up. Make sure to actually get their email address so that you can sign them up.
- Enthusiastic club members who are already there should be engaging people
Tips and pitfalls
- Much of the preparation for this event has to happen the previous term or over the summer. It can be difficult to think about fall term during the end of the spring term or over the summer on internship. Don’t miss this opportunity!
- Get the basics right:
- Do all the recruitment prep work. It will pay off.
- Make sure you have a nice location that's easy to get to
- Make sure you have quality food and enough of it
- Get the date/time right. It might be important to coordinate with student government, other clubs, and administration
- Inspiring speeches
- Ensure active and enthusiastic members are there to chat with incoming students and make them feel welcome.
Spring term before next academic year
- Begin coordinating with orientation week leadership for spot to pitch club and kick-off event.
- Coordinate with other clubs (especially affinity clubs) to find best time for this event
3 months prior to event
- Finalize date/time for kickoff event
1 month prior
- Finalize location for kickoff event
- Give 90-second orientation week announcement
- Open RSVPs
2 weeks prior
- Hand out materials to incoming class with kickoff event highlighted
- Handouts in mailboxes
- Other club leadership announce through their communication channels
1 week prior
- Make sure somebody is on top of ordering food and food setup logistics
1 day prior
- Finalize RSVPs
- Remind RSVPs about date/time/location
- Finalize food order, make sure plates, cups and utensils are ready
- Make sure any Audio/Visual is ready
Event day prep
- Bring all handouts
- Arrive to location early enough to do setup
- Handful of volunteers to make sure food and drink is happening and that there are enough knowledgeable people about what the club at the event, that people are engaged not just with small talk but also what the club is and why it matters
- Make sure person in charge of food knows how to collect the delivery and set everything up and that they have all eating materials required
- Test A/V equipment
1 day after
- From membership list and email list collected at event, (1) email everybody thanking them for showing up, (2) provide general info about the club, (3) the next club event
1 week after
- From membership list and email list collected at event, email out summarized feedback
Subject: Allyship club kickoff
Being an inclusive and conscientious leader is an important part of our community. It's also a strategic career advantage to better understand and empathize with your colleagues, supervisors, and direct reports. Our club focuses on building emotional intelligence and recognizing the unconscious blindspots that mountains of research shows we all have.
Join our kickoff on [day], [date] at [time] in [location]. We'll have food, drinks, and good company. We'll tell you a bit more about ourselves, how you can get involved, and get your feedback on what you're interested in with regards to allyship.