A YENGO by any other name…
Every group needs a name and a mission statement. The name will
be most distinct if it is short and sweet or forms an appealing
acronym. Your mission statement should include a description of your
group and its goals and should implicitly state your group's
uniqueness from other groups. You should also be able to use your
mission statement to focus the direction of the group.
How your group is structured and who does what is up to you and
group. Some groups have positions like president, secretary,
treasurer, etc. Many environmental organizations use a
non-hierarchal approach so that all members have equal status.
Include as many members as possible in anything that your group does
- more involvement makes people feel important and motivates them to
stay in involved with your group.
You can also find some really extensive information and resources
Keep your meeting location and time consistent so that you can
easily advertise, recruit new members and so existing members make
the meeting a part of their routine. How about a Thursday lunchtime
meeting? Don't be disappointed if someone can't come. It's important
to choose an inspiring spot, with room for creativity. A good
meeting place will help your group get efficient, positive work
accomplished. Is there a room in your student union building or an
empty classroom? Maybe your local community centre or environmental
organization has some free space.
Make sure everyone in the group has a chance to express their
point of view. Sometimes people really need to be asked and know
that they are being listened to. You can even ask them for their
thoughts if they don't volunteer. Be conscious of possibly creating
a division between leaders and workers in your group. Elitism can
often lead to a group's demise. If you feel that one of your members
doesn't understand an acronym or concept, take the time to explain
or you can ask the group to explain the new word or concept. This
process is also good for explaining the meaning of ideas and
concepts to the group, so that everyone is on the same page!
Productive meetings are the staple of a productive YENGO.
Check out the PEI
Literacy page for a nice, simple guide on successful