Tabling Technique

Having a strategically-planned, aesthetically appealing and well-staffed table on campus is one of the most standard ways of recruiting new members or arguing an important issue.

In tabling, members get the opportunity to explain the political philosophy behind YAL and logically respond to criticism. When tabling, here are some things to consider:

Strategic time and placement

Find a central, high-traffic area on campus. These locations will seem pretty obvious to you. You may consider which school departments are likely to have a student body most interested in YAL and the mission.

Contact Information

Besides promoting and recruiting for your chapter, tabling is also where you collect contacts. Have a sign-up sheet for interested students to gather the following information: name, email address, class year and major.

Tabling Materials

Provide a banner or sign, a display, loose pamphlets about your organization, loose flyers with information on upcoming meetings or events, and a sign-up sheet.

Tabling Schedule

Since organizing libertarians is like herding cats, set up a schedule with hourly shifts for the table. Make sure to staff the tables more during meal times and class changes. Before tabling begins, send out an email reminding volunteers of their assigned times.

Face-to-Face Conversation

Whoever is working at the table needs to be sure to stand in front of the table instead of behind it so they can easily interact with others. Do not have a chair to sit on, and remind members not to congregate in a central group blocking the table And especially, do not sit reading a book or doing homework while tabling.


While you want to portray your political philosophy and chapter in a good light, try to keep debates and arguments to a minimum. If someone approaches your table and refuses to let down, have one of your more articulate members pull him or her to the side and continue the discussion. Time wasted on a debate is time you could have recruited more members. Besides, who wants to approach a table where people are yelling at each other?

Stand Out

Design your display to draw in students. Whether this is done with colorful pictures, politically incorrect statements, or an outgoing group of talkative members, you want your display to bring passerby in.

Follow Up

Make sure to follow up with every student who shows interest in YAL. This can be done with an informative email, a phone call, or Facebook group invite. By following up with interested students, not only do they stay informed about YAL on campus, but they also feel welcomed to get involved.