UNC Young Americans for Liberty set two goals for our Fall 2014 Recruitment Drive: to drastically increase chapter membership, and to significantly increase our presence on campus. To accomplish this, we devised a recruitment strategy that would push us to the forefront in the political dialogue at UNC.
When school started, we needed to create more publicity for ourselves on campus. We accomplished this by being featured in a Daily Tar Heel article covering the key political voices on campus. This also served to put us on equal footing with the UNC College Republicans and UNC Young Democrats. (Our president has also inserted herself into planning a debate between the three political groups, when traditionally our group has been left out of the debate.) In addition, we tabled the entire first week of school and advertised the Belle Knox on College Tuition event, which effectively put us on the radar of UNC students.
The next thing we accomplished was an amazing kickoff at the student organization fair. Our keys to success were our goody-bags and our posters. We passed out 275 goody bags, each containing two books, a YAL flyer, a UNC YAL recruitment schedule flyer, and candy. We also had a trifold poster that we used to prop up the political quiz, and we decorated the sides with pictures of events and chapter members with liberty heroes. These two attractions, along with the lovely, smiling faces of UNC YAL members, raked in over 160 sign ups. We also continued tabling that week and received an additional 30 listserv sign ups.
Our first meeting had over 35 people in attendance. In addition, we received several messages from people who could not make it, but plan to be involved in the chapter this year. The following Saturday we held a cookout at our vice president’s house and had a great turnout. We had great retention at our second meeting, and even picked up a few people who had not been to our first meeting. Overall, we had 20 new members come, and we had a lively discussion over police militarization.
Our increase in chapter membership can be tied to how prepared UNC YAL was for fall recruitment. We were out everyday the first week of school, had every meeting planned out, and had a fantastic recruitment drive at our student organization fair. We also were hosting one of the first big events on the UNC campus.
"Belle Knox on College Tuition" was a bigger success than originally expected. We had over 100 people come out to learn about how government subsidies drive tuition increases. Following the event, we held a social where several curious students asked Knox and other UNC YAL members about libertarianism, which helped us pick up a few new members!
Along with increasing our membership total, the Belle Knox event put UNC YAL in the spotlight. We were featured in the Daily Tar Heel newspaper as well as other university media sources. Our president even published an article about the event on The College Fix.
This week ends the first month of classes at UNC and the end to our fall recruitment. We have recruited almost 30 new, dedicated members, and possibly more to come. We have almost tripled the size of our active chapter, and we have established a prominent presence on the UNC campus.
Mission accomplished! And more to come...