So your college doesn’t have a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Student Chapter and you think it should? We agree! It’s pretty easy to get started:
1. Get in touch!
Let us know that you’re interested and we will send you information on next steps, including some paperwork. Once we’ve received a copy with your autograph, it makes things official, and we can send you a special packet welcoming you to the network.
2. Form your committee
You can recruit by word of mouth and advertise around campus and online. Chapters are usually made up of at least two core people: President and Treasurer (a.k.a. the person running the show and the person running the money).
There are a few other useful committee positions you might want to fill:
- Vice-President: Shares responsibilities with the President
- Secretary: Takes notes at meetings and keeps members up to speed through regular emails
- Publicity Secretary: Coordinates publicity for events around campus using flyers, social media, etc.
3. Make it official
Most colleges offer groups the ability to formally register as a student organization. That often comes along with a few perks, such as access to classrooms or theaters for meetings and events, funding for publicity or printing costs, or the use of a university email address. Check with your campus’ student union to find out more.
4. Go social
Set up an email and Facebook account for your chapter so that you can recruit more people to join, keep members up to speed, and publicize your events. For email addresses, try to use a generic account name so that it can stay the same even if chapter members change. For example: MSFfirstname.lastname@example.org.
5. Make a plan
Talk to your committee and figure out how often you want to hold meetings. Most chapters meet once every two weeks to plan fundraisers and other events. Once you have an idea you’re excited about, reach out to us for help you with resources and advice on planning.
Don’t stretch yourselves too thin: a couple well-run events per semester usually works best for chapters. Your first event will likely be a…
6. Kick-off meeting
Plan an introductory event with your committee that’s open to everyone on campus who’s interested. You can host a short talk, screen a Doctors Without Borders film, or maybe host a Doctors Without Borders trivia night with prizes.
7. Keep in touch!
Don’t forget to let us know about the events and activities your chapter hosts throughout the year. Be sure to take lots of photos and use social media to promote all the awesome work you’re doing. We can also share your posts through our Doctors Without Borders social media channels.