GPA Updates Log

Graduation Pledge Alliance - 6th Update for 2003-2004
 
Hello Pledge campaigners:
 
 A FOR THOSE OF YOU NEW TO THE PLEDGE, if you were holding off till next year because you think it's too late, consider a small effort even this year (doing sign-ups during tabling, distributing literature there taken from the web site, and maybe even handing out green ribbons and pins to be worn at graduation). Besides giving seniors an opportunity, if there is  just a little publicity (signs or school newspaper article), it makes it more likely other folks will get involved next year, either signing on or organizing the campaign. It will be seen as a budding tradition.  

BFOR PLEDGE VETERANS, a few brief reminders : 

1.  Let us know, as some have done, about any plans you have for promoting the Pledge on Earth Day.

2 Don’t forget the listserv as a way to tell others what’s worked or not in your Pledge efforts, or to ask for advice. (GradPledge@yahoogroups.com If your message is rejected it means you’re not on the list, but we can easily add you.)

3 Check out the new poster that we already noted (www.graduationpledge.org). We’re getting good compliments and they’re a good way to give contact info, organize a meeting, or announce an event. Plus just having them up around campus raises consciousness on the issue of social responsibility. At my school’s print shop, they went from my computer attachment to producing, for about a dollar, an 11” x 17 “ flashy color poster.

C. This Spring, consider getting local media coverage, particularly surrounding graduation ceremonies and the wearing of green ribbons. Though still before the  graduation season, we are already getting some national media interest (we know for sure; e.g., that a story will appear in the Chronicle of Higher Education ). In the last couple of years we’ve gotten in places like Business Week and USA Today, among many other outlets. But schools have also received local media coverage. It is likely to increase participation by students the following year, as well as raise consciousness in the viewing public.  Public Relations Offices at a number of schools have distributed press releases on the Pledge, so consider that. At a minimum, try to get a story in your school paper.

 

D. Though you’re likely busy enough working on this year’s effort, let me say that this is the time to lay the foundation for a continuation and improvement for next year. This is especially true if you are just getting started and don’t expect to do too much this year. If you do just a few of the various possibilities listed immediately below, when next year comes around, you can work right on the project rather than just trying to get your own internal operations in place:

 

    1. IT IS BEST IF THERE IS ONE CONTINUING GROUP (campus organization, graduation pledge committee, official college administrative or student office) that makes sure the Pledge happens each year. Earlier in its history, the Pledge was on a number of  campuses, but disappeared in all but a few because of lack of institutionalization.

 

    2. GET ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES which have sway over the commencement activities to come on board at some level. Another approach is to get senior class officers or reps involved, as they often have good channels of communication with all seniors.

 

    3. GET CAMPUS GROUPS TO ENDORSE, participate, and get out word to their constituencies (a) student groups--e.g., social service,  community service, environmental, peace, human rights; (b) programs/departments/schools within the university--social work,, sociology, environmental studies, women's studies-- or any socially concerned active ones on campus; and (c) offices/councils/centers--career services, community services, women's centers, Student Government.

 

    4. GET SOPHOMORES/JUNIORS/FACULTY INVOLVED TOO, as it helps ensure future work on the project. It also means that each year those involved before know past history and can try to take institutionalization a step further each year.

 

E. Though I will ask you again, PLEASE LET ME KNOW AT SOME POINT WHO WILL BE YOUR CONTACT PERSON FOR NEXT YEAR SO WE CAN ADD THEM TO THE EMAIL LIST. It's hard for us to track that down on our own. THANKS. We’ll also be asking you later for a brief report on what will or did happen Pledge-wise. So keep that in mind.

 

GOOD LUCK AS WE MOVE SOONER THAN YOU THINK INTO THE GRADUATION SEASON,

Neil

Neil Wollman, National Coordinator

Graduation Pledge Alliance

njwollman@manchester.edu