Aspiring campus activists can find ample resources in UK, city

As promised, I will use this week’s column to describe all of the possibilities offered by our fabulous university and community just in case, by some strange stroke of genius, someone out there has the desire to create their own organization, event, protest, campaign, etc.

Please understand that I have made a great effort in writing this column, since I really wanted to dedicate this space in an ode to two of my now deceased girlhood crushes, Heath Ledger and Brad Renfro, in a “don’t do drugs kids” tirade. However, in a rare moment of restraint, I will listen to my elementary school education and keep my promises.

Let’s say, for example, that you are like me and have been moved by the death of your teen heartthrob to create a forum of experts on the dangers of drugs and alcohol abuse on a college campus. Where might you find such experts?

It just so happens that we currently are attending a large state university where there is a multitude of doctors, psychologists, counselors, sociologists, criminologists and scientists who more than likely specialize in a topic that is relevant to the angle that you would like to discuss.

Unlike outside speakers, professors and professionals employed by UK usually are glad to lend their expertise to a worthy student cause at no cost. That’s right, free! However, it is only polite to invite them to any post-event receptions and to whip out those thank-you notes that you only use once a year on relatives you never see.

If you play your cards right and ask early in the school year, sometimes departments have a little money or resources floating around that they can donate to important expenses like publicity. That, however, is a very big “if.” But a little department money goes a long way toward a student-run event.

Let’s say, for example, that university faculty and employees are not enough; you want to get the insight of people from the community. Lexington, being the vast metropolis that it is, happens to have plenty of community-minded people who are willing to donate their time as well.

By enlisting the involvement of folks from the community, there is often an added bonus — free stuff! Organizations in the community with concerns relevant to whatever you are interested in are often happy to provide fun stuff like t-shirts, pamphlets, pencils, condoms…the standard.

If you are a really ambitious person, you might petition local food establishments for food donations. Many places have to give a certain amount of their product away to worthy causes for tax purposes. Besides, it is only realistic to admit that free food is a major means of bribing people to come listen to whatever you have to say.

Let’s say, for example, that you still need money after begging and pleading with everyone you know. Did you know that Student Government offers a number of grants for individual students and organizations? Yes, indeed, that aloof organization that you have managed not to vote in for the entirety of your college career may at last serve a purpose: money. Located in the lower level of the Student Center, the easy-to-understand applications are in the SG office. Instead of letting your student fees go toward mud volleyball or some other outlandish Greek event that you will never attend, you can use the money on something that you care about.

Go ahead and rent a space. Be ambitious. Put flyers everywhere, but do not forget the Facebook. Talk in your classes and make a scene. Be opinionated college students before you are stuffed into the square hole of a cubicle.

Carrie Bass is an art history senior. E-mail [email protected]