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Chaparral 2015-2016: 24.6 Building Power

Building Power (May/June 2016)

Building Power: One Member at a Time

by Zohara Kaye

Guild President

Our Organizing Committee and Membership and Mobilization (MnM) Task Force members have been working hard this semester, and the results are stellar! We have increased our membership by twenty two percent, from 69% to 81% to date!

With our Member Engagement Resolution, we set out to reach all faculty, and invite fee-payers to become members of the Guild, thereby have their voices heard, and rights to vote in Guild elections, ratification of openers, polls and surveys.

Phase 1:

During the first phase of our Member Drive, MnMers sent personal emails to non-members in their divisions, inviting them to join the Guild.  This helped raise our membership by only 1%.

Phase 2:

We joined up CFT’s Building Power project in January. During the second phase, Building Power co-chairs (David Attyah and Justin Smith) went to CFT's Organizing Institute, and MnMers received training on one-on-one conversations.  Each MnMer was assigned to five non-members.  This time assignments were based on teaching schedules and MnMers’ availability to reach out to non-members at the end of their class sessions. This helped us grow our membership to 77%.

Phase 3:

The last phase included a three-pronged approach:

  1. Non-members without regular teaching schedules received a packet in the mail with a self-addressed, stamped envelope to return their signed membership forms via mail.
  2. We reached out to leaders in each division with a list of non-members in their divisions, and asked them to each help sign on one new member
  3. We held a “Member Drive Party Week” with 1.5-2 hour slots for each day of the week, and asked MnMers to join the party.  We met up in the Governance Office, where packets with pre-filled out membership forms, flyers, and contact forms were ready for non-members who were teaching that day of the week.

By far, our Member Drive Party Week turned out to be the most successful method of reaching out to our non-members.  Our party week is not over yet, and we are already at 81% membership.

Reaching out to faculty who had not yet joined the Guild turned out to be a very rewarding experience.  The faculty were thankful that someone from the Guild had taken the time to approach them.  The MnMers doing the outreach reported having rewarding conversations with these faculty and made connections to follow up with each other. By doing the one-on-one outreach, we were able to identify issues of concern our faculty had at GCC - what works well, what needs to be improved - and learn more about our new members who are joining our community.  Welcome aboard to all our new members!


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