Hosting the Forum Task Timetable
Forum planning by the host campus is done in collaboration with the Forum Planning Committee and its professional staff. This summary provides a list of the tasks and resources that a campus must consider if it is to host the California Forum for Diversity in Graduate Education. This list is intended to highlight the important responsibilities of a host campus and is not necessarily comprehensive.
Twelve to Eighteen Months before the Forum
Set the date of the Forum. This should be determined in consultation with the regional Planning Committee. Considerations should be made for:
- Minimum Physical Requirements to Host the Forum
- Regional and national schedules of graduate fairs
- Local conferences/national events that might compete for students or staff time
- Semester, quarter, and holiday breaks at participating universities
Once the date is set, room and/or space reservations should be secured with appropriate campus personnel who are responsible for event planning.
Once facilities have been identified, a meeting should be scheduled between the campus individuals who have responsibility for hosting the event and representatives from the Planning Committee. The meeting should include a review of the event plan, a discussion of the funding plan, and a tour of facilities.
Identify and make special arrangements for a block of rooms for recruiters, Planning Committee members, and some students at a hotel (+/- 125 rooms). Individuals, with the exception of students, who attend the Forum make their own reservations and pay their own costs. The Planning Committee may approve overnight accommodations for certain students; these accommodations should be arranged by the host campus in collaboration with the appropriate subcommittee of the Planning Committee.
Four to Six Months before the Forum
A banquet/ballroom space is reserved in the hotel for the California Pre-Doctoral Program reception that is held the evening before the Forum. Initial plans for the reception should be discussed with the hotel's catering staff with final confirmation to come two to four weeks before the event.
Transportation arrangements between the hotel and campus site should be negotiated with the hotel personnel. It may not be possible for the hotel to provide such a service, in which case it is essential that the host campus get directions from airports and freeways for those who will be driving to the hotel and from the hotel to the host campus. This information will be mailed to potential recruiters.
The Student Participation Subcommittee will need copies of the area and campus map plus written instructions on how to reach the Forum site (more detailed that the general instructions on how to reach the campus). This information will be given to each campus for distribution to the bus company who will transport the students as well as to those students who will make private arrangements.
The host campus should begin to make food arrangements (lunch and snacks) for recruiters, workshop leaders, and the Planning Committee and (lunch only) for the students.
Two to Four Months before the Forum
A major responsibility of the host campus is to provide adequate event signage. Event signage from the edge of the campus to visitor parking or bus drop-off locations is the first place to start. Once individuals are on the campus, there should be signs, preferably with balloons, every 30 feet leading people to and from Forum activity locations. On campuses where there is more than one major entrance, it is imperative to have signs leading students, recruiters, and workshop leaders to the correct locations. With the aid of a campus map, members of the Planning Committee might help identify where signs and balloons should be located. Outsiders might have a better "eye" than those who are familiar with the campus.
If possible, there should be a separate location where recruiters can unload and load their materials. This should be as close to the recruiters' tables as possible.
Review facility scheduling for all activities with the campus event planning committee to insure that room size and anticipated participation match. This should be done in consultation with the Student Participation Subcommittee as they begin to collect reservations from the various campuses and the Program Subcommittee.
Arrange for 10 hand-held two-way radios for communication between campus leaders and Planning Committee leaders on the day of the event.
Two to Four Weeks before the Forum
Identify the campus staff who will (1) handle distribution of registration materials for students, recruiters, and workshop leaders; (2) serve as receptionists and parking assistants; (3) provide general information (students wearing Forum T-shirts); (4) serve as host/hostess at each workshop to facilitate the distribution and collection of evaluation sheets; and (5) assist with clean-up at the end of the day. The host campus should provide a training session so that staff and student workers will understand their roles and their responsibilities. Each person should be given a job description outlining the duties for the day of the Forum.
The Program Subcommittee should identify those workshops that need audio-visual or Power Point presentation equipment. Equipment may need to be transported to the workshop sites on the morning of the event. If so, make arrangements to use electric carts or audio-visual carts and additional staff to set-up the classrooms.
The Student Participation Subcommittee will identify the number of students with disabilities from each campus and the specific needs of the students. This may include sign language interpreters, special assistance for blind persons, and electric cart transportation for students with mobility problems.
The Local Arrangements Subcommittee, in consultation with the CSU Chancellor's Office and the Recruiter Subcommittee should finalize arrangements with the hotel for the California Pre-Doctoral Program Reception.
The host campus should finalize all food arrangements for students, recruiters, workshop leaders, and the Planning Committee. The Student Participation Subcommittee, the Program Subcommittee, and the Recruiter Subcommittee will provide final figures on the number of individuals that are expected to attend. In particular, recruiters must be provided with water or other drinks during the time designated for students to visit their tables. Individual water bottles must be available throughout the day in each room where workshops are held.
Arrangements for the delivery of the rented tables, chairs, and umbrellas/tents should be finalized. This would also include the date and time the vendor will return for pick-up after the event.
The Local Arrangements Committee should spend time reviewing the signage and its placement with the campus events staff.
Review the logistics for unloading the buses and the location of the registration tables to be sure they are in the most convenient locations.
The Planning Committee will make a visit to the campus to review the local arrangements and take one final tour of the venues. Incorporate any changes resulting from the Planning Committee's final tour.
Provide a campus telephone number where workshop leaders can call the night before and on the day if they are unable to attend the event.
Day Before the Forum
Assemble the packets for the students, recruiters, and workshop leaders. This task takes about five hours if there are at least 20 individuals participating. This should take place in a room(s) that can be secured overnight. The room(s) should be located near the student registration tables. In order to move the completed boxes to where the recruiters and workshop leaders register, the room(s) should be relatively close to those venues. A student and recruiter packet should be assembled for every member of the Planning Committee.
The primary person responsible for local arrangements should review the staffing logistics for the day of the Forum. It is better to have too many workers than not enough. Unanticipated special needs always develop during the day of the event. Arrangements should be made for the Chair of the Evaluations Subcommittee to meet with the students who will collect workshop evaluations. A job description, including the hours to be worked, should be given to each staff and student worker. This will reinforce the training held two weeks ago and eliminate last minute confusion or misunderstanding about who is responsible for what at the Forum.
Pick up the 10 hand held two-way radios.
The Day of the Forum
Arrive on campus at the crack of dawn!
Be sure all signs are properly located at the entrances to the campus and in the vicinity of the event.
The staff and student workers should assist with setting up the registration tables for all groups. It is imperative that the student registration table be set-up by 7:00 a.m. The recruiter and workshop leader tables should be set-up by 8:30 a.m.
There should be someone "on duty" at the student registration table until at least 10:30 a.m. - even if the host campus distributes all of the packets. Someone should be "on duty" at the recruiter registration table until noon. Someone must be "on duty" at the workshop leader registration table throughout the day.