Fall 2017 Workshop Series

Got an idea to make a difference? Workshop it with us! Below you will find the Fall 2017 workshop series topics. All Y workshops and trainings are free and open to all. 


Sep 21 | 6:30-7:30 PM | University Y | Murphy Lounge

Student-run campaigns face specific challenges: short-term leadership; membership rotating on a four-year cycle; and seasonal breaks that put organizing on the back burner. Faced with student activism, the campus administration defaults to passively waiting it out.

In the passion of our issues, we often overlook developing a written campaign plan. Nevertheless, a campaign plan democratizes knowledge, accounts for history and context, provides focus and rationale for our decisions, and allows limited resources to be used effectively.

This workshop will cover the basics of developing a campaign plan — from identifying a vision through conducting a power analysis.

Led by: Tyler Rotche

Tyler is the Student Engagement Program Coordinator at the University YMCA. He has experience organizing with the early Fossil Fuel Divestment movement and working alongside communities fighting coal mines, power plants, and waste disposal sites seeking local remediation and changes to state and federal policy.

Sep 26 | 6:00-7:00 PM | University Y | Murphy Lounge

University of Illinois Funding Boards distribute thousands of dollars to student groups for research projects, equipment, travel, and large-scale events. In this workshop, students will learn to navigate the different funding boards and best practices for submitting applications to Student Organization Resource Fee (SORF), Student Cultural Programming Fee (SCPF), Program Coordinating Council (PPC), and Student Sustainability Committee (SSC) funds.

Led by: Ross Wantland

Ross Wantland is a farm-raised social justice and violence prevention educator. He received his Master’s in Education in Educational Policy Studies and BS in Psychology with a minor in Women's Studies, all at the University of Illinois. Since 2009 he has worked as the Assistant Director in the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations, where he coordinates Diversity and Social Justice Education.

Sep 28 | 6:00-7:00 PM | University Y | Murphy Lounge

Fundraising is critical for a successful student group or organization — it is also a key skill that you will use in the real world.

Through this workshop, students will identify fundraising opportunities, see what makes an event successful, and learn how to ask for money more effectively.

Led by: Emily Cross

Emily is the Development Officer at the University YMCA and a past student of the Y. She has a huge passion for student programs in light of the impact they made on her life. Emily received her Bachelor of Sciences at Illinois in Earth, Society and Environment and her Master’s in Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Oct 7-8 | All Day | Lake Williamson Retreat Center

Join University of Illinois students for the Organizing Change Retreat, a two-day, off-campus experience at the beautiful Lake Williamson Retreat Center. Transportation, lodging, and food are provided.

This free retreat is open to all undergraduate and graduate students. You will learn practical concepts and skills about social change, identify what issues are important to you, network with fellow students, and consider how social change relates to your academics and future careers.

Whether you are new to the exploration of social justice or are a seasoned activist, the Organizing Change Retreat welcomes you!

Learn more and register at: go.illinois.edu/organizingchange

Oct 10 | 6:00-7:00 PM | University Y | Murphy Lounge

Your time is valuable. Have effective meetings. 

Led by: Kenny Long

Oct 19 | 6:30-7:30 PM | University Y | Murphy Lounge

Retired Associate Dean of Students, Willard Broom will give an in-depth overview of the University of Illinois administration. Learn about the University structure, who does what, and how to approach the administration about changes you want to see.

Willard will also provide individual coaching for students who are in the midst of a campaign or just thinking about starting one.

Led by: Willard Broom

Oct 26 | 5:30-6:30 PM | University Y | Murphy Lounge

Hosting events is an essential part of our work — rallies to earn media attention, bake sales to get $$$, movie screenings, panels, and dialogues to earn support and make change. Nevertheless, each event prevents the same fear: what if no one shows up? 

This workshop will dig into the best practices for event planning — thoughtful advertising, securing the right venue, reaching out to your people, and filling the room.

Led by: Kasey Umland

Nov 2 | 6:30-7:30 PM | University Y | Murphy Lounge

A follow-up for the Organizing Change Retreat, this session will focus on why groups and movements might benefit from coalitions, identifying who should be involved, building effective processes for work and decision-making, and strategies for managing tensions.

Nov 8 | 5:00-6:00 PM | University Y | Board Room

Building an online following, and building support for your issue, comes from communicating authentically with your community. In this session, you will learn to understand your story, identify the basic elements of social media and email, and learn messaging techniques for different media.

This session will also cover the key elements of a communications strategy using exercises to establish goals, target audiences, and develop messages that move people to action.

Led by: Megan Flowers

Megan Flowers has acted as Communications Director of the University YMCA since 2012. She has trained with Chicago-based Community Workshop, Constant Contact, University of Illinois Center for Global Studies, and YMCA of the USA.

Dec 7 | 6:30-7:30 PM | University Y | Murphy Lounge

This session will pick up where "Intro to Campaign Planning" left off. With an understanding of how your group is positioned to work, we will work to analyze relevant power dynamics, the current lay of the land, and focus in on developing a Theory of Change — the strategic rationale of your work, Why and how will your approach and strategies get you to where you want to go?

Led by: Tyler Rotche

Tyler is the Student Engagement Program Coordinator at the University YMCA.

Get Updates, Get Skills

Questions or Workshop Suggestions?

Contact Tyler Rotche, Student Engagement Program Coordinator of the University YMCA at tyler@universityymca.org or at 217.337.1514