The content of this workshop is very much influenced
by the work of the United
States Students Association, the Midwest
Academy, and the Grassroots
Organizing Weekend (GROW) training that these organizations
As a group, figure out the following for your
» Goals: What concrete things
do you want to win? Are there smaller concrete victories
you need to win along the way? Make sure your goals
are specific things a certain decision-maker can choose
to make happen, but isn't going to do so unless you
put the pressure on!
» Your organization: What specifically
does you group have that might be useful in the campaign?
(A megaphone? $200 in the bank? Access to a copier?)
What specific things do you want your organization to
gain in the process of this campaign? (5 new core members?
Better relationships with workers?) What internal problems
might affect the campaign? (Is half the group about
to graduate? Are two people making all the decisions
without others' input? Be honest!)
» Who's involved? Who are the
"constituents," or people actively organizing
to win this campaign? (How many are there? Are they
campus workers, who are directly affected by the issue,
or students acting in solidarity?) Who are your allies,
and who do you want to become an ally? (Other student
groups? Local labor community? Religious leaders?) Is
anyone actively organizing against your campaign? (Irritating
and apathetic passers-by don't count!)
» Targets: Who is the individual
decision-maker with the power to actually give you what
you want (your goal)? Are there any "secondary
targets," individuals who have power over the primary
target, but who you have more leverage with?
» Tactics: How are you going
to educate your community to build your organization
and support for the campaign? (Film screenings? Educational
events? Going door-to-door in dorms?) How are you going
to show your power and get your target(s) to do what
you want? (Occupying offices? Taking over public events?)
for more on tactics.
» Timeline: When will you put
these plans into action? Are there specific dates you
need to work towards? (The expiration of a union contract?
An important Board of Trustees meeting?) How will you
deal with summer, exam times, and other common lulls
in student activists' schedules? Are you planning to
take the time to build strong relationships with campus
workers? If you're planning on a major direct action
in the forseeable future, how will you gradually escalate
to that point?
Coming soon... Find out how students
in the successful campaign at Washington University
conceived of their strategy!