Archive:Starting a Free Culture group

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This page is deprecated in favor of the Chapter Kickstarter.


1. Contact Student Affairs about making you chapter an official organization at their school

2. Tailor the mission statement/charter for your school

3. Find a faculty adviser

4. Contact whoever is in charge of reserving rooms for meetings

5. Obtain flyers from

6. Get merchandise and goodies from - like frisbees.


FIRST, get started early.

1. Get to campus as soon as you can.

2. Download flyers from this page ( ) and add in the name of your group (e.g. UMass Free Culture) and the time of your first meeting.

3. Write a short email announcing the group and the first meeting time.

4. Start contacting professors to find a faculty advisor.

5. Don't worry about becoming an officially registered campus group before your first meeting. It is much more important to focus on getting a good turnout and then getting some help becoming official.

SECOND, make a flyering strategy. This is crucial.

1. Find out when freshman orientation is and what the schedule is. Figure out the events that you can hand out flyers at and be there.

2. Flyer in the best spots around campus. Don't worry too much about the official flyering rules.

3. Find out when the activities fair is, and definitely be there. This might be after your first meeting, which is fine, and will make it easier to get some extra help.

4. Find out the meeting times, email lists, and hang-out spots of related groups: activists, linux user groups, music organizations, etc. Be there.

THIRD, setup an email list. Your school might provide email lists for groups. Do everything you can to minimize the number of emails that go out on this list-- meeting times are key, big announcements, or very important news. You might want to create a second email list for people who are highly involved and want to do a lot of chatting and planning.

FOURTH, prepare for and have your first meeting. This is difficult. You want a meeting that is short (under 1 hour), interesting (explain why people should be in the group), and that doesn't feel too much like a lecture. You'll probably want to give a 20-30 minute introduction to Free Culture and why it matters, talk about what's happening at other schools, and then use the last 20 minutes to talk about plans for the fall and to get people volunteering for specific tasks (flyering, making a website, figuring out your school's filesharing policy, etc). Keep it short! Bring donuts or pizza or soda or something, and get everyone to signup on your email list.

FIFTH, stay in touch with the national organization. There's going to be a lot of things happening this fall, and should be at the center of it. Learning what's happening at other schools and letting people know what's happening at your school will make everyone's group work better. And nationally coordinated campaigns can make each individual group stronger and more successful.

AS YOU GET GOING These things are good to do as the semester gets going, but should definitely not distract you from the most important job of organizing people and keeping them interested and involved.

-Set up a blog / website. -Become an official student group and try to get as much money as you can. Money means: funner parties, speakers about these issues, and flyering money.