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Running your Labour Students Club


Contents Introduction


Labour Students Calendar – Dates for your Diary 4 Running an Active Labour Students Club


Getting your Members Campaigning


Making Sure your Club is Inclusive


Getting Involved in the Wider Labour Movement 13 Working with your Students’ Union


Get In Touch With Your National Officers



INTRODUCTION For many people, your Labour Students club will be the first opportunity to get involved in the Labour Party and the wider Labour movement. That is why it is vital that your club is both active and inclusive as well as having an influential role on your campus. It is important for your club to be visible not just at your Freshers’ Fair but throughout the year. Running a Labour Students club can be a tough but rewarding job which is why we have put together this guide to help. This guide will tell you everything you need to know. Just remember, some clubs sometimes do things differently. Don’t be afraid to be creative and share best practice. There are always people who can help you, especially your National Officers, as well as your Regional Co-Ordinator on the National Committee all of whom you can find details of on the Labour Students website. Above all, running and being involved in a Labour Students club should be a great experience and great fun.

Your National Officers; Josh, Melantha and Rachel


LABOUR STUDENTS CALENDAR DATES FOR YOUR DIARY Labour Party Annual Conference: 24 – 27 September 2017 Labour Students Political Weekend: November 2017 Welsh Labour Students Conference: November 2017 Scottish Labour Students Conference: Winter 2017 Labour Students Liberation Conference: Winter 2017/2018 National Labour Students Conference: Spring 2018 Welsh Labour Conference: March 2018 Scottish Labour Conference: February 2018 Local Elections 2018: May 2018 Labour Students Summer Training: Summer 2018

Labour Students Summer Training 2017


RUNNING AN ACTIVE LABOUR STUDENTS CLUB Your Labour Students club should be active throughout the year holding meetings, socials and events regularly to keep members engaged. Many of you will have members of your committee whose positions are designed to help you organise socials or events and communicate them to your members, it is important you hold regular committee meetings to plan when your socials and events will take place throughout the year. You should vary your events, socials and meetings as much as possible to keep members interested in your club and keep people coming along. Whatever you do try to make sure you create Facebook events and email your members well in advance. Successful Social Events Social events are a good way of holding an event that will not only be fun but will also help members get to know each other. Social events could be drinks at the pub or club, or more structured activities like bowling or a cinema visit. Socials should be varied and it is important to remember that certain events may not be accessible to everyone. You should work with Liberation Officers and check in advance that venues for events are accessible for all students. Remember that not everyone drinks alcohol or feels comfortable in environments where others are drinking, so have a variety of events and ensure your activities aren’t solely centred around drinking.


Event ideas for your first term: 1. “Paint the Town Red” Pub Crawl For your first event of the year, you could organise a pub crawl around bars in your local city. This helps freshers get to know the area and if you organise activities or ice breakers it should help everyone to get to know each other and new members feel welcome 2. Introduction to Campaigning with your Local MP It is vital that we continue to campaign for Labour, especially in the run up to the Local Elections and the possibility of a future second snap General Election. Many of your members may not have campaigned before so make them feel comfortable and show them the ropes. Arrange for a local Labour MP to join you as a draw for new members. 3. Celebrate Black History Month Don’t forget its Black History Month in October so make sure your BAME officer is empowered to mark this in some way; whether that be a film screening or a talk on BAME representation. 4. Pizza and Policy Get people talking about policy and practising their debating techniques at a pizza and policy event. Order in a few pizzas and think of some policy areas and a format for debate and you’re ready! 5. Tackling Antisemitism and Engaging Jewish Voters Training Labour Students has teamed up with the Jewish Labour Movement and the Union of Jewish Students to be able to offer this valuable training session. You can book this event by getting in touch with your National Officers.


6. Campaign Technology Training The Labour Party is always thinking of new exciting way of contacting voters. Giving people training in how to use all the latest technology like the doorstep app or the brand new phone banking app “Dialogue” can be really useful. Try and make it as fun as possible and get in touch with your Regional Office to see if anyone can come and give you training. 7. Our Future in Europe Labour Movement for Europe, one of Labour’s Socialist Societies, are willing to visit your club and discuss issues from how to protect the Erasmus scheme to working with other left-wing parties in Europe. Contact your National Officers if you want to arrange Labour Movement for Europe to visit your club. 8. Film and Fundraiser Why not host a themed film night which could also raise money for a local orgnisation. Local charities like homeless shelters or refuges will help to build a relationship between students and the local community. 9. Festive meal At the end of term book a meal out for your club. This is a great way to celebrate your successes from the term and look forward to the year ahead as a club. TOP TIP: Work with other societies on campus as much as possible to make your events more interesting and to introduce more people to your society and the work you do.


Speaker Events Holding speaker events is a great way to appeal to a wider group of people who are maybe interested in politics but haven’t thought about joining before. One way to attract people can be to have a guest speaker on an interesting topic. Speakers can range from MP’s, MSPs, AMS, MEPs or Councillors, to Trade Union officials, and speakers from campaign groups. If you are trying to get a Labour politician to come and talk to your club, it will probably be best to ask someone who won’t have to travel too far to get to you, and ask them well in advance. Some MPs, MSPs and AMs may need to know a month or more prior to a meeting as their diaries tend to be quite full. MPs are usually in Westminster from Monday to Thursday so it will often be difficult to get them to speak during these times, although parliamentary recesses give clubs opportunities to host guest speaker events during the week. MP’s diaries may change at relatively short notice and may have to cancel due to important votes or other urgent business. This is especially true of members in the Shadow Cabinet. If you have got an MP coming it may be worth having a backup plan in case they cannot make it at the last minute. You could also invite Trade Union officials from you region as speakers for your club, they could talk about the work of the Trade Union movement and its link to the Labour Party. Speakers from NGOs and charities may also be good speakers to invite, especially if their expertise covers the topic of a campaign you’re running. Get in touch with a National Officer if you need help getting a speaker to your club. ‘Try to hold different kind of events and vary the days and times, to maximise the number of people who come.’ Jack Stacey – Chair of Swansea Labour Students


GETTING YOUR MEMBERS CAMPAIGNING Campaigning is a big part of what we do in Labour Students. We know that Labour values are most successful when we are in power, whether that for Councillors or MPs. With local elections next year and the continuing threat of a second snap General Election, it is important as ever that we continue to campaign for Labour victories. We were really proud that Labour Students last year campaigned en-masse up and down the country in by-elections and then in the snap General Election, with clubs such as Keele racking up over 1500 hours of campaigning between their members. We want to support you to support your members to get out on the doorstep at every opportunity. If you want help or advice in mobilising your members, get in touch with your National Office.

Labour Students campaigning in the Stoke by-election


Somewhere to Call Home Every year Labour Students has a Priority Campaign which is decided by a vote of our members. This year our members voted decisively for a campaign on student housing and accommodation out of which came Somewhere to Call Home. Somewhere to Call Home will be a campaign which will not only lobby nationally in support of Jeremy’s call for legislation on “homes fit for human habitation” but also be a local campaign you can run in your club to improve housing standards on your campus and across your town by working with university stakeholders and local representatives. A Million More Voices We were really pleased that last year’s Priority Campaign led to a change in the law putting a responsibility on HE institutions to work on electoral registration, and get automatic voter registration on a number of campuses. But after huge success in this year’s General Election, the Conservatives are already trying to shut out students from voting in future elections. We cannot let this happen. We need to continue to ensure that student’s voices are heard loud and clear across the country. We want A Million More Voices to continue to be a practical campaign that you can easily roll out on your campus. We want to ensure students voices are heard by getting students on the electoral register in their thousands. 10

MAKING SURE YOUR CLUB IS INCLUSIVE Labour Students will always put liberation at the heart of all we do, and to be successful our clubs must both operate in and understand the importance of an inclusive and safe atmosphere. As Chair you should also ensure that your Labour club is a welcoming environment for all members. There are a number of things you can do to encourage a more inclusive, open and diverse attitude within your club. The biggest thing to do if you haven’t already is to introduce Liberation Officers to your committee and hold regular caucuses for Black, Asian and ethnic minatory students as well as, Disabled Students, Lesbian Gay, Bisexual and Trans students, and Women to elect someone to represent them and their issues within the society and beyond. If you cannot fill all these positions it should not be a reason not to include these on your committee but encourage you to diversify the membership of your club. It may be necessary to take a look at the way your society operates and discuss what may be a barrier to some people and what may be putting people of joining. You can look at the “Running an Active Labour Club” section to make sure that your meetings, socials and events cater to a wider range of people. Working with Liberation Officers can help you to put on things that may be specifically aimed towards a certain communities at your university to encourage them to join Labour Students such as a faith event or cultural festival. As a club Chair it is important you support this, and encourage you Liberation Officers to lead on this.


Labour Students is always clear that: “Sexist, racist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, homophobic, biphobic, transphobic, ableist or harassing comments will not be tolerated�. This should also apply to all your meetings, socials and events. Any cases of sexist, racist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, homophobic, biphobic, transphobic, ableist or harassing comments should be taken extremely seriously and as Chair you will be expected to respond in a considered but swift fashion.


GETTING INVOLVED IN THE WIDER LABOUR MOVEMENT A good Labour Students club should be engaged with the wider Labour movement. By involving your club in the wider Labour movement you not only promote Labour Students but also help mould the dialogue surrounding students in the Labour Party and potentially even change Labour Party policy or address a national conference.

Working with your Local Party The best place to start with this can often be by making sure your members move their membership across to the CLP where you live at university. You should attempt to support your local party wherever possible and promote their events within your club. Local meetings should be welcoming and engaging for young members so you should promote the idea of making their meeting more sociable if you feel it is necessary. Some clubs such as Cardiff Labour Students do excellent work alongside their local Party holding regular joint events with Councillors and local party members. When it comes to election time you may be working closely with CLP so it’s good to get involved early. If some students are particularly active in the local CLP you should encourage them to run for a position within the CLP. Whilst the Youth Officer position is a great role, students and young people should not feel this is the only position they can run for. Students can make excellent Campaigns Officers or Secretaries on their CLP committees.


Working with Affiliated Trade Unions Outside of your local party it is always important to promote the Trade Union movement within your club. The Labour Party was founded by the trade union movement so encouraging your students to join a trade union is a fantastic idea. Most Trade Unions have youth wings which are always keen to see new, engaged and active members.

Regions and Nations In Wales and Scotland as well as across the English regions there are regular conferences which are often free for young members and are an excellent place to engage in policy debates, meet other members outside your club (including senior politicians) and represent the student movement in the wider party. Building links with the local party is one of your most important roles. Firstly, it means that there will be plenty of opportunities for campaigning throughout the year! Secondly, they should be very willing to offer help and support: they can sort out speakers, socials, and a whole variety of things that will improve your club. Quite often they haven’t had any contact with the club before, turn up and let them know who you are. You never know where it might lead; you may even end up as a local Councillor like me!� Lucy Atkinson, Lancaster Labour Students & City Councillor


WORKING WITH YOUR STUDENTS’ UNION Being influential on campus and beyond is how we affect change across the UK and it goes beyond just campaigning. Your Labour Students club should be a permanent fixture within your Student’s Union (SU). You should always make sure that your Labour Club is engaged with what is happening in your SU. This helps if you have lots of interested fellow Labour Students who are willing to stand in elections either as a part-time officer on the SU Executive or as a student representative on your SU’s Council, Senate, or attending All Member Meetings. It is not only important to utilise the Student Union as a campaigning tool. Policies within your SU can help drive campaigns. It is your responsibility that your SU’s policies represent Labour values as SUs are Unions, and Unions should represent Labour values. It may be worth checking what active policy your Student Union already has and amending or building on that.


The best way to ensure that a Students’ Union has Labour values is to get Labour Students elected as Sabbatical Officers (sometimes referred to as “sabbs”) in charge of the direction of your union. Many Labour Students have run excellent campaigns to be a Sabb including some fantastic campaign videos. If you see potential in some of your members you may want to plant the idea yourself, or if you have ambitions to run yourself - then do so! And make sure you have the support of your club behind you – they will be a valuable campaign team. If you want support on running for a Sabbatical Officer position then look out for relevant training at our Labour Students national events, or contact our National Secretary Rachel Holland, seen below in a picture from her own sabb election campaign video.


GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR NATIONAL OFFICERSrs Your National Officers are on hand throughout the year to help you in any way we can, whether its speakers for an event or Student’s Union elections. We are here to help.

Melantha Chittenden - National Chair

Josh James - Campaigns & Membership Officer

Rachel Holland – National Secretary

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