We provide ongoing support and advice for groups, sharing our experiences of running student pro-life societies ourselves. APS offers great training opportunities, such as our popular leadership training events, and workshops delivered on your campus.
The following tips provide a good starting point and will help you maximise success:
Volunteer with those in need
If we want people to view abortion and euthanasia as being unecessary, then we need to work practically to create a life-affirming culture where people are aware of the scientific facts and have access to positive alternatives.
You can volunteer with the elderly, the disabled and those in crisis pregnancy in your local community through a one-off event or a regular activity for your group or individual members.
1. Think about how you can support student parents on your campus.
2. Find out what volunteering opportunities there are available in your local area.
Open up debate
Being open to rational and respectful discussion:
A) Shows you are compassionate, reasoned, open and secure in your arguments.
B) Allows you to keep testing your knowledge.
C) Breaks down barriers and means other people will be more attracted to hearing your message.
1. Informally encourage debate when advertising your events by adding:
Even if you do not agree with our pro-life viewpoint, we welcome to you to come along and ask questions. We enjoy a challenge!
2. Organise a more formal debate with another student group such as the Feminist Society or the Debating Society to gain a wider audience.
Before debating, it is a good idea to get some practice first and know the basic pro-life facts. Once you have this preliminary knowledge under your belt, go for it!
Thank people and stay connected
Maintain good ties with staff and other societies on campus. APS can also help you build connections with pro-life groups and figures in your local community.
You may wish to organise a simple event e.g. Cheese and Wine to raise awareness about your work each year amongst local supporters. This will ensure that when new leaders come in they are easily introduced to your existing support base.
A Christmas card and, for your key supporters, a box of chocolates/wine/gift voucher will also usually aid these important connections and ensure people feel appreciated.
By being future-focused, your group will have a clear mission and vision and be motivated to think of new and innovative ways to ensure the pro-life torch stays bright on your campus.
Plan your year in advance and set some overall, cohesive objectives. Map out the projects you would like to complete throughout the year, thinking about your university term dates and local and national pro-life events e.g youth conferences to avoid clashes.
Build in your succession strategy to ensure that you have a new committee trained and ready to take over at the end of the year. Our workshops and handbook provide more tips on how to prepare to handover your group.
Be organised and consistent
Rather than leaving things to the last minute, plan your events well in advance. Follow a clear routine as this will give you freedom to plan engaging activities with a simple society formula already in place. More students will come along when they know you hold a regular event at a predictable location. Visit our Organise an Event/Activity page for ideas.
Clarify roles and responsibilities, based on your committee’s skills and interests. This will prevent misunderstandings and boost your efficiency as each person will be doing the right job. At the start of the year, as a group, draw up a document together which outlines tasks and responsibilities and make sure each person has a copy.
Get members actively involved
Often, students only occasionally attend society events on request from a committee member. Getting members actively involved will help you to build a regular member base.
Whenever a new person comes to an event or meeting, give them a small task such as bringing a friend to the next session, sharing information about the university creche with their friends or handing out a few flyers. This will make them feel involved. They will consequently become a committed member who continues to invest in the success of the group.
Harness your member’s skills
Find out about your member’s skills and assign them to a committee member who can then suggest fun tasks for them to do.
- Writing > contribute to your blog and write to your student and local newspapers.
- Debating > help train their fellow pro-lifers by sharing debating tips.
- Graphic design > design a logo, group t-shirts, posters or pro-life memes.
- Maths > strategise ways to ensure your kitty is full for the following year.
- Drama or Music > create a pro-life play, film or piece of music and film your events and take pictures.
- Politics and Current Affairs > post up links on your facebook page to keep everyone up-to-date with the latest pro-life news.
Build a unique flavour for your group with a wide range of characters and ideas and channel this into your activities. As your members collaborate with committee leaders on specialised tasks and gradually take on more responsibiltiies, you will have a new committee ready to take over by the end of the year.