Students interested in raising awareness of human trafficking on campus should first look to find existing student organizations that might already work on this topic. Collaboration with existing groups ensures a community-wide approach to tackling the issue and should be prioritized. If no related organization exists, this guide can assist you in developing your own anti-human trafficking student organization.

Step 1: Convene Interested Parties and Develop Mission

Since every student organization requires membership, it is a critical first step to convene interested parties. Students interested in developing an anti-human trafficking student organization should meet to discuss goals for the group. General items to consider include:

  • Agreeing upon a mission statement and the purpose of the organization;
  • Selecting a name for the organization, preferably one that conveys the anti-human trafficking purpose (e.g. Students Against Trafficking);
  • Identifying a faculty advisor to oversee the organization; and,
  • Creating a constitution. A sample constitution from Arizona State University can be found in the Appendix.

After convening founding members, students should review administrative criteria for developing a new student organization and complete the necessary application process.

Step 2: Create Social Media Accounts

Upon initial administrative approval for the new organization, organization leaders should create social media accounts for the group. Creating an online presence prior to recruiting membership will ensure that prospective members can learn more information about the group when they hear of its formation. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat each provide unique ways to reach interested audiences.

Step 3: Establish Membership

Recruiting committed members is key to ensuring the longevity of your organization. Ideas for marketing your group to prospective members include:

  • Participating in your school’s student organization fair. This generally takes place at the beginning of each academic year and will allow you to market your organization and mission to a mass group of students. It should be clear to passers-by that you are representing an anti-human trafficking student organization. Founding members should collect contact information for interested students to invite them to future meetings and events. It is helpful to pass out candy and to have flyers with the first scheduled meeting information.
  • Advertising on your school’s listserv. If your school sends out a regular newsletter or listserv email, request that information about your organization is included. Some schools will allow you to advertise each meeting and event on their newsletter, a helpful way to reach your audience.
  • Utilizing social media. Invite your classmates to follow your organization’s social media accounts. You can create a Facebook event for your first meeting and invite your friends to the event. You can also post a picture of a flyer on Instagram or Twitter, and caption a picture or video with relevant information about the first meeting on Snapchat.
  • Posting flyers or lawn signs. In approved locations, members should display flyers or lawn signs with information about upcoming meetings and events. Flyers should include social media information to connect students to additional information about your organization and ways to get involved. Specifying if food will be provided at events will typically attract additional attendees.

Remember, your marketing strategy does not need to be limited to this list. Students should take advantage of the varying opportunities on each campus to promote the student organization. Recruitment should be prioritized all year long to offset members who decide to leave the organization or who intend to graduate. Adopting an “everyone get one” campaign can motivate every member to find at least one new recruit during the academic year.

Step 4: Nominate Executive Board

An effective and passionate executive board is one of the most important factors in ensuring your organization’s success. When planning your first executive board, think about whom among your peers would make great leaders and invite them to apply. You can create an online application through Google Forms and advertise the open positions to other students. Founding members can then choose from the applicants based on their skills and experience. Following the initial executive board nominations, an alternative nomination style can be implemented for position replacements to include a vote from the entire membership, if desired. Establishing a formal process can help attract the strongest candidates. Clear guidelines should be outlined in your organization’s constitution.  

An executive board might include the following roles and responsibilities:

  • President
    • Plans and presides over meetings
    • Oversees event planning
    • Ensures that other officers are completing their duties on time
  • Vice President
    • Assists with meeting planning
    • Coordinates food for each meeting
    • Oversees awareness campaigns
  • Secretary
    • Sends email reminders about each meeting to members
    • Posts meeting announcements to social media and school listservs
    • Takes minutes and distributes them to members following each meeting
  • Treasurer
    • Creates general operations budgets and manages the organization’s bank account
    • Identifies funding opportunities and completes budget requests
  • Marketing Coordinator
    • Creates, prints, and distributes flyers for meetings and events
    • Oversees event publicity
    • Posts event announcements on social media and school listservs
  • Events Coordinator
    • Works with the President to coordinate event planning
    • Creates budgets for events in coordination with the Treasurer
    • Delegates tasks and coordinates volunteers for events
  • Student Alliance Liaison
    • (This can be a separate position, or this can be included in the President’s duties)
    • Corresponds with the McCain Institute to coordinate Student Alliance activities

Step 5: Select Standing Meeting Time and Location

Organization leaders should poll members to identify a regular time, place and frequency of meetings that work best for most individuals. Depending on the size of the organization, some groups find success planning “piggyback meetings,” where officers host identical meetings back-to-back to reach all members. Establishing bi-weekly meetings is typically sufficient, but this may vary depending on your organization’s activity level throughout the year. Organizers should select days when most students are on campus and choose a centrally located classroom in an easily identifiable building to make it easy for interested students to find and attend.

After deciding on a convenient meeting place and time, leaders should submit a request to reserve the meeting space. It is best to reserve this location at regularly scheduled meeting times for the length of the semester, if possible. Consistency will allow members to schedule courses and extracurricular activities around meetings.

Step 6: Seek Funding Opportunities

Many schools offer opportunities for funding for student organizations. The organization’s treasurer or other assigned member should determine what opportunities exist for funding through the school administration or student government. The group should then draft a reasonable and comprehensive budget to submit with funding requests. Drafters should show as much detail as possible to avoid budget rejection, listing item descriptions, cost per unit, total units requested, total cost per item and final total cost. Examples of annual costs include:

  • Food for meetings and events;
  • Printing for flyers;
  • General office supplies; and,
  • Funding for promotional items.

Step 7: Host Meetings

The President or other assigned member should take responsibility for planning each meeting. Meeting organizers create agendas, which generally include reviewing prior meeting minutes, committee and officer reporting and making recommendations for future activities and agendas.

Tips for Successful Meetings:

  • Advertise meeting times online and around campus.
  • Place signs outside of the meeting room with the group’s name and “new members welcome” listed. Have officers greet new members at the door to collect contact information and hand out name tags. It may be useful to have a new member application form or an excel sheet open on a laptop to record new member information.
  • Ensure there are enough chairs and space for all attendees.
  • Start each meeting on time to most effectively utilize everyone’s time.
  • Begin meetings with an ice breaker to welcome new members and build community within your organization.
  • Facilitate conversation on new topics or proposals.
  • Encourage the participation of all present members and listen to all ideas fairly.
  • Recognize members for small and large achievements with awards or treats.
  • Prevent meeting monotony by highlighting a relevant video, inviting a guest speaker or organizing a relevant service project.
  • Offer orientation sessions on human trafficking for new members, utilizing the recommended training resources found here.

Step 8: Plan Engagement Strategy

Engagement strategy planning should be agendized for initial meetings of the organization to invite discussion on ways to engage with students and educate them about human trafficking. This include a handful of events scattered throughout the academic year or one full human trafficking awareness week. Members should identify goals for the year and delegate planning efforts. Awareness building ideas can be found here.

Step 9: Apply for the Student Alliance Against Trafficking Program

Anti-human trafficking student organizations can apply to join the McCain Institute’s Student Alliance Against Trafficking program here. Program partners gain access to educational resources, promotional items, funding opportunities and staff support for event planning and are connected with peer leaders working to raise awareness of human trafficking across the country.  

Appendix: Sample Student Organization Constitution

Sample Student Organization Constitution

(Student Organization Name) Constitution

PREAMBLE

We the members of ___, and subscribing to the regulations and policies of (your school name here), establish this Constitution to govern the matters within our organization. Our mission is to raise awareness about human trafficking on campus and in the local community.

Article I – Name

Section 1 The name of this organization shall be ___

Article II – Purpose

Section 1 The purpose of this organization shall be to raise awareness about the presence of human trafficking within the United States and around the world.

Our trained Awareness Ambassadors will give awareness presentations to classes and student organizations in order to achieve organizational goals. We will host awareness events throughout the year, including the annual Human Trafficking Awareness Week during the last week of January. We also prevent trafficking around the world by fundraising and collecting supplies to support students in high-risk communities around the world.

Article III – Membership

Section 1 Members Membership is open to any student enrolled in at least one semester hour of credit at ___. Membership extends to both undergraduate and graduate students. Anyone with an interest regarding human trafficking prevention or intervention may join. Any member is eligible to work on fundraising campaigns at their own discretion. Membership will be terminated if anyone is disrespectful to officers and peers, promotes a negative attitude during meetings and events, or offensive language is used regarding human trafficking victims or other members. Members will be given two verbal warnings before the executive board votes to terminate their membership. There must be a two-thirds majority voting in favor of termination for a membership to be terminated, and the terminated student will receive an email from the executive board informing them of their membership termination. Members are able to resign their membership at any time with a written email to the executive board stating their intent and reason for resignation.


Section 2 If an alum, staff, or faculty member expresses an interest to be a member, they may be granted associate member status. However, these members may not serve on the executive board.

Article IV – Officers

Section 1 The officers of this organization shall consist of six officers: President, Vice President, Secretary, Events Coordinator, Marketing Coordinator, and at least one Nonprofit Liaison. The President will conduct club meetings, choose the rest of the executive board, coordinate campus fundraising and meeting times/locations, and the President must be present at the majority of meetings. The Vice President will assist with running meetings and procuring food for each meeting. The Secretary will keep meeting minutes, inform members and student body of upcoming meetings and events, keep track of membership and attendance records, and be present at all meetings. The Events Coordinator will help plan all events and awareness campaigns. The Nonprofit Liaison will coordinate club activities with nonprofit events. They will also provide the materials for and plan the volunteer training workshops, and do not have to be present at each meeting. The Marketing Coordinator will manage club social media, oversee the creation of flyers, collaborate with co-presidents on fundraising and awareness campaigns, and promote club activities to the student body, and must be present at each meeting.


Section 2 To be President, each candidate must have been an active member of ___for at least one full academic year. For all offices, candidates must have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA.


Section 3 Term of office shall be one academic year.


Section 4 Provisions for removal of an officer shall be, two-thirds executive board majority (excluding the vote of the officer that is being considered for removal).

Article V – Elections

Section 1 Election of officers for the following school year shall be held at the beginning of April each year.


Section 2 The procedures shall be an application process that is open to all club members. The executive board will review the applications and vote. A 2/3 majority is required to confirm the candidate.


Section 3 Provisions for filling vacancies. Vacancies will be filled through a special executive board application process following a general member nomination. The open position will be announced at a general meeting, and each candidate must be nominated by at least one current active member of the club at or within one week of this meeting, either verbally or through email. Each candidate will submit an application, and the remaining executive board will review candidate applications and vote to decide who fills the vacancy based on a simple majority.

Article VI – Meetings

Section 1 Regular general meetings of this organization shall be held biweekly, with officer meetings also held biweekly. The Secretary will notify members of upcoming meetings via email and social media.


Section 2 A quorum shall consist of ten voting members or ten percent of voting members present at any meeting. After a quorum is called, each meeting will be called to order, and the secretary will begin taking minutes. The president will decide upon the agenda in advance. The executive board members will decide questions of parliamentary procedure. (A quorum is defined as the number or percentage of total membership to be present at a meeting in order to conduct the business of the organization. State the rules of order or procedure to be used during meetings. Cite the specific source or authority to be used in deciding questions of parliamentary procedure).

Article VII – Advisors

Section 1 There shall be one faculty/staff advisor who shall be members ex-officio with no voting privileges.


Section 2 Method of selecting an advisor. We selected our advisor based on their passion for the issue of human trafficking, willingness to act as advisor and ability to guide ___ in our endeavors.


Section 3 Duties or responsibilities of an advisor. ___advisor will provide guidance for the executive board.

Article VIII – Amendments

Section 1 The constitution may be amended by a vote of two-thirds executive board majority. An amendment may be proposed at any time during a club meeting by any member.

________________________________ Date______________________
Signature of 1st Officer

________________________________ Date______________________
Signature of 2nd Officer

________________________________ Date ______________________
Signature of Vice President

________________________________ Date______________________
Signature of President

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