Forming a chapter


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How to form a chapter

The process of forming an University chapter is very informal. University chapters are really just good excuses to get groups of interesting people together to do interesting things... that happen to be related to OLPC. The following instructions are suggestions - feel free to change them according to what works best for your group.

  • Gather a group of at least 10 interested people (students, faculty, staff, community members and their families) at your school who want to form a chapter. If people at your school use computers a lot, creating a mailing list or website can help you recruit. Template flyers and letters are also available - please remix, modify, and create new ones!
  • Create your group's homepage on the OLPC Wiki and include it in the University chapters category. The easiest way to do this is to use the University chapter template.
  • Create a mailing list for communication within your group. Universities will often host mailing lists for clubs and community service groups; talk to your IT department if you're not sure how to do this. Google and Yahoo also offer free mailing list services. It is often convenient to define group membership and mailing list membership as the same thing (in other words, if you're signed up for the mailing list, you're a member of the group).
  • Once you've got at least 10 people, call a meeting and collectively decide on a name and some projects to begin working on - see the What University chapters can do section for some ideas. Holding a Jam is often a good first project to bring a group together (and can help you recruit new members and projects to boot).
  • Designate one person to be the main external contact for your group. (This is usually called "electing a leader," but your ideas on self-governance may vary.) The external contact person (and any other interested members) should subscribe to the mailing list (discussion mainly in English).
  • You may want to turn your OLPC chapter into a club or community service group at your university. Talk to your Student Life department or student government representative if you're not sure how to do this. Forming a campus group often makes it easier to obtain resources from your school.
  • When you have an active group, a first project, a webpage, and a contact person, add yourselves to the Current university chapters list at the bottom of this page.
  • Send out an email announcing your new chapter and introducing yourselves to the mailing list.
  • See Organizational_Resources for some useful tools that can help set up, coordinate, and generally run your group.
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