Revolution #244, August 28, 2011
Campus saturation—making an overall impact that wakes up and shakes up the campuses with the BAsics!
Posted Sunday, August 28, 2011
A couple of us were summing up key lessons from our first rounds of campus saturation with the special issue of Revolution on the BAsics.
We came to recognize that to make the impact we need on a campus, we need a dynamic, multi-layered plan and a squad that is fighting through collectively all day, to reach our objective of waking up and shaking up the campus. The students should feel that the revolution was at their campus!
We felt that a small core with the right plan and orientation, working with and searching out creative ways to make an impact and involve new people, can do this. Key is coming from and continually returning to our overall objectives and understanding this as part of the Campaign, The Revolution We Need, The Leadership We Have... the goals and stakes of which are spoken to powerfully in the last few editorials. (See "100,000 Run for Special Issue on BAsics, A Plan to Shake Up and Wake Up the Campus", Revolution #242, August 14, 2011, and "Ready...Set... BAsics Plan to Shake Up and Wake Up the Campus", Revolution #243, August 21, 2011.)
Getting out 100,000 of the special issue on campuses nationally is at the heart of this two-week phase. But this will only be successful and contribute to the overall objectives if it is part of a multilayered and dynamic plan. How many students take the special issue and then feel compelled to read and engage what it says, is impacted when they experience the image of Bob Avakian, cards with quotes from the book BAsics up in clubs and in campus bathrooms, quotes chalked on the sidewalks, quotes read and debated in the parks and quads, people in their classes talking about it, etc.
We felt that teams need to set overall and daily goals on five elements of this effort which will synergize together:
- Distribution of the special issue
- Sales of BAsics books
- Broad impact of people learning about BA—including creative use of image and quote cards, sidewalk chalking, etc.
- Development of new ties and contacts, in keeping with the overall points in the new editorial on accumulating forces for revolution (see "Shaking Up the Campus... And Accumulating Revolutionary Forces" Revolution #244, posted at revcom.us August 25, 2011)—including, as one part of that, large numbers of e-subscriptions to Revolution newspaper.
Then there should be flexibility and creativity, and a lot of learning. Every day won't be the same and team leadership should be summing up how we are doing, and collectivizing on adjusting and changing plans to meet goals.
One positive experience we have had was when people read along in the special issue or in BAsics while quotes were read out loud. You can point to the quote in the special issue or pass out copies of the book, and then people read along. We did this in a park but it would also apply to people sitting in a cafeteria, or in a classroom. We found that done this way the longer quotes in the special issue really "stuck" and were very thought-provoking to people as they were able to read along. And when we were saturating at moments when lots of people are walking by, one person reading out one very short quote and even short of that, the distributors using a penetrating "This is the revolution, and you can't change the world if you don't know the BAsics!" shout-out to people was most effective.
A good way to fundraise as part of the broad distribution has been 1-2 persons with a large, well-decorated fundraising bucket "catching" and challenging people after they have passed through our presence and seen/heard the visuals and readings. This next week, when the large universities in our city open for orientation, we will also be incorporating going door to door to professors' offices to give them a short introduction to the BAsics and the movement for revolution, to invite them to donate now to the BAsics and the "wake up and shake up the campus" effort, and to consider an ongoing financial sustainership of either Revolution newspaper or Revolution Books.
Some further ideas about flexibility and the synergy of a multilayered plan: One day a team might focus on broad saturation of major class change times/locations and then spend a couple hours in a dorm learning more about the mood and expectations and questions on the minds of the new first-year students; another day there might be saturation of required first-year large lecture classes during the day and hanging out with new interested students in the evening. Another day could be spent getting the special issue up on bulletin boards and in stacks at all the all-age clubs, campus art studios and cafes—a team can pass out the special issue to people in those places and ask groups of students which quote they want to respond to and talk about.
Yet another afternoon could be spent focused on creative fundraising in the park or the quad—challenging students and faculty to drop $5 in the bucket and select, read, request or respond to a favorite (or least favorite!) quote. Then in the evening call and email all the new people and arrange for next-day dorm and café discussions, and uncover other ways they may want to talk about and get into and spread the BAsics themselves.
These are just a few ideas—not intended to be comprehensive or to replace the planning and conceptions in Revolution #243 editorial. We need to be attuned to uncorking a lot of creativity when we put this special issue in the hands of hundreds and thousands of students, learning what they think about it and challenge them to be part of changing the world with the BAsics! Again, working at the key elements that interact together to really wake up and shake up the campuses with the BAsics.
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