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How to Start a Bread Student Team
- Form a core group.
These people must be energetic and committed to founding a Bread team on their campus. They will do the lion’s share of the work, drive the organization, and ultimately determine the team’s success or failure. Trying to start a team by yourself can be overwhelming, so creating a core group is a great way to distribute work and also share the rewards of organizing a new Bread team.
- Organize the team.
Advertise to the student body your intention to start a Bread team. Use email, flyers, the campus newspaper, or any other media. Be persistent.
If there is interest, plan a meeting to discuss what you envision your team doing and see what others want the group to do. Use resources from Bread for the World at the meeting.
Usually those interested in forming a club are good candidates for the core group. Once a core group has formed, create your team’s goals and purpose. One way to get started is to write a mission statement, which expresses the purpose of the team and its guiding principles to help define how the group organizes and acts on campus and in the community.
Next, discuss when you would like to meet, how much time you can realistically dedicate to this team, what events you would like to hold, and how you will create enthusiasm for your cause on campus. These are not always easy to do, so start small, be flexible, and be sure to use resources of Bread for the World staff as well as past experiences of other Bread campus teams.
- Acquire funds and a faculty advisor.
Depending on your campus student government, try to get your club approved for funding, which can help you purchase materials or put on events. You also may be required to get a faculty advisor, who can be a good source of information and contacts. The advisor’s role can vary depending on your team’s vision.
- Plan logistics.
Now that the team has a basic framework—core group, membership, mission statement, goals, and funding—continue maintaining the goals of your club by meeting at a time and place that works for most members. It’s helpful for the core group to meet in advance of the larger meeting to plan what will be discussed and by whom.
- Maintain the team.
Teams can fall apart when a core leader leaves because of graduation or a study abroad program. So it’s important to delegate responsibility among the core group and continually look for new members who have leadership qualities that can maintain your team.
At Villanova University, for example, each of the Bread Team’s committees has a leader, a structure that helps delegate responsibility, makes team members feel more responsible, and encourages participation. The semester before a leader steps down, the next year’s leader is identified and works closely with the current leader to provide a smooth transition.
In the end, there isn’t an exact blueprint for organizing a team, but these steps may help you get started.
Good luck, and keep in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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