How to Get Started:
- Step 1: Define the Issue
Clarify the issue you are looking to tackle. Create a background and include all relevant information. Be familiar with this information and identify talking points for when you are questioned on the spot about your issue. Answer the question: Why is this important?
- Step 2: Conduct a Benchmark
What are other schools, like us, doing?
- Step 3: Identify the Costs/Benefits
What are the benefits to the various constituents of the University? (i.e. Alumni, Students, Administration, Faculty). What are the costs? (Financial, Physical, Time, etc.) Always consider the short & long term costs and benefits.
- Step 4: Create Your Proposal
Based on your research, decide how you feel your initiative would be best implemented at the University. Prepare a thorough document that summarizes the research you have done (background information, benchmark, cost/benefit) and your suggested plan of implementation.
- Step 5: Anticipate Questions
Identify potential follow up questions. Ask yourself why someone would not support your initiative. Prepare to respond to each concern with thoughtful & respectful follow up.
- Step 6: Start Conversations
Once the research is done, you will want to set up meetings with the appropriate people to present your research.
Advisor Meeting – Send your research to your advisor and request a meeting for review. She/he will help you identify any gaps in your presentation and provide valuable insight into how to proceed.
Admin Meeting (if appropriate) – Set up meetings with the appropriate administrators in order to present your research. Be prepared for follow up questions.
What to Avoid
- Booking any vendors/performers/speakers – Asking for a cost estimate is fine, but don't book a date or agree to any specifics.
- Being too specific – a well-developed plan has multiple potential outcomes. Know what you are willing to give up and what is crucial to the issue.
- Surveying students before research is complete and you have an idea about where the University stands on your topic. Once you know this, you will be able to be more specific and targeted with your questions.
In most cases, you will use the list of other Catholic, Mid-Size, Universities. If your initiative is geographically sensitive or involves state legislator, you may want to use the NJ private school and/or additional school lists. If you're not sure, check with your advisor.
- St. John's University
- Loyola Marymount
- Notre Dame
- St. Peter's
New Jersey Private:
- Farleigh Dickenson
- New York University
- Long Island University