Town Hall Kit

Canadians see the benefits of fundamental research every day. It saves lives, improves our understanding of the world, helps solve problems, and strengthens our future. In the lead up to Budget 2018, we need to highlight these benefits in order to build broad-based support for increased research funding.  

We are encouraging associations to host a Get Science Right town hall on your campus that showcases the importance of fundamental research. Bring together academics and early-career researchers from different disciplines to share how research will deepen our understanding of the world and help solve challenges.  Invite both the academic and non-academic community to this event.

To support you to organize an event, CAUT has put together this Town Hall Toolkit that includes: ideas for town hall topics, an event task list, an invitation to speakers, a media advisory, and a customizable poster and social media shareable. 

Please keep CAUT’s Membership Engagement Officer, Christina Muehlberger , informed of your plans. If you have any questions, please contact Christina by email or at 613-820-2270 (ext. 182).

Town Hall Topics

There are endless topics that showcase the importance of fundamental research in addressing issues facing Canadians.

Things to consider when choosing a topic:

  • What issues are impacting your community?
  • Is your town hall happening near or on an important date that you could highlight, such as Black History Month, Women’s March or World Water Day?

Task List

Initial Planning:

  • Approach on-campus allies to co-organize the town hall
    • Potential allies could include the graduate students’ union, the union representing teaching assistants and/or contract academic staff, or the faculty of graduate studies
  • Decide on the topic or big question presenters will address
  • Select a potential date for the town hall, find out if it conflicts with another event on campus or on the community
  • Based on the topic, compile a list of potential speakers and send invitations
    • Remember to send more invitations than the number of speakers you are hoping for. If you do receive more interest than anticipated, suggest that one person moderate the panel or change the format to a talk show style with shorter presentations
    • When compiling your list, remember to ensure your presenters are diverse in their perspectives and lived experiences
      • Try to have speakers from different departments
      • Showcase the work of an early-career researcher
      • Include researchers who have not received tri-council funding
  • Consider inviting a local media personality to moderate the panel
  • Based on availability, finalize a date and time for the town hall

Logistics:

  • Create a budget for the event
    • Potential costs to include: the venue, AV equipment, food, and speaker gifts.
  • Book the venue
    • Confirm that the space includes any necessary AV equipment or book this separately.
    • Book the space for an hour before the event time to allow for set-up
    • Remember to use an accessibility checklist when selecting a venue
  • Order the catering
    • If you are providing food, remember to include accessbile options, including: vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, dairy free, Halal, and Kosher
    • When budgeting for food, remember to include tip and gratuity
    • Read over the rental policy for the space to determine if there are guidelines around catering
  • Approach on-campus allies to co-organize the town hall
    • Potential allies could include the graduate students’ union, the union representing teaching assistants and/or contract academic staff, or the faculty of graduate studies
  • Assign a point person to the presenters
    • This person will stay in contact with the presenters throughout the planning process, including:
    • When compiling your list, remember to ensure your presenters are diverse in their perspectives and lived experiences
      • Collecting the speakers’ bios and photos
      • Sharing any necessary logistical info
      • Collecting PowerPoint presentations if applicable
      • Answering any questions presenters may have
      • Greeting presenters at the event

Promotion:

  • Add your details and association logo to CAUT’s customizable poster and social media shareable
  • Include the event in your association’s newsletter
  • Send invitations to local Members of Parliament (find them here )
  • Other ways to promote the event:
    • Send the social media shareable to community organizations working on the issue
    • Write an article for the campus newspaper
    • Post the event on your institution’s online events calendar
    • Speak to the local or campus radio station
    • In the week leading up to the event, showcase a different presenter each day on social media
  • Send out a media advisory a couple of days before the event
  • Prepare a campaign box
    • Include any association branded materials  as well as CAUT Get Science Right buttons, bookmarks, posters, and T-shirts

Event:

  • Designate volunteers to arrive at the space early to set up, test the AV equipment, and set up the campaigns table
  • Assign volunteers to welcome attendees at the door
    • These volunteers should have clipboards with CAUT's Get Science Right petition, which will also ensure that your association collects participants contact information 
  • Have someone from the association open the event with a land acknowledgement and a brief presentation on the Get Science Right campaign before turning it over to the moderator

Get Science Right Customizable Poster

Download

Get Science Right Town Hall - Media Advisory

Download