Requirements and Commitments to Host a Forum

The following list describes in general terms the facilities required and the services provided or coordinated by the host campus at previous Forums. The list is intended to be illustrative and will inevitably vary depending upon the location of the campus and the nature and extent of its facilities. It should be noted that past Forums have been hosted successfully by campuses as small as Mills College and as large and complex as the University of California, Berkeley.

Physical Facilities

  • The campus must reserve far in advance of the event all classrooms and other facilities and spaces to be used for Forum activities.
  • There must be a facility or outdoor space large enough to accommodate the opening plenary session, which is attended by all students at the Forum. The Forum typically seeks to attract 1000 to 1200 students. Two facilities linked by a large-screen video projection can be substituted for a single facility. The plenary session can also be held in a tent.
  • For the workshops that make up the rest of the Forum program, there must be 6 to 10 classrooms of varying sizes, which in combination have a capacity at least 25 percent larger than the plenary session (since the attendance at individual workshops cannot be estimated but not predicted with precision). These classrooms will have to be supplied with A-V equipment specified by the program subcommittee; usually, no special equipment is required beyond what already exists in “smart classrooms,” but everything must be checked to make sure it is in working order.
  • The campus must identify the location and co-ordinate the set-up of the recruiter fair, which can be held either indoors (provided that there is a sufficiently large facility) or outside under tents or canopies. Recent Forums have attracted increasing interest from graduate school recruiters, so the recruiter must be able to accommodate approximately 200 tables. The Forum staff will handle the recruitment of the recruiters and the assignment of tables to individual recruiters, but the campus must coordinate the details of the layout, including obtaining approval of the local fire marshal if required.
  • Provision has to be made for parking by volunteers on the Friday before the Forum and for Forum staff, speakers, recruiters, and students on the Saturday of the event. Most students will arrive by bus, but some will also want to drive themselves. If necessary, parking by students can be restricted. It is obviously preferred that parking fees be waived, but if that is not possible, parking fees for staff, volunteers, speakers, recruiters, and the buses (but NOT for individual students) should be charged back to an office on campus, so they can be handled as part of the Forum budget. It is essential that staff, volunteers, speakers, recruiters, and bus drivers not be charged individually for the cost of parking.

Services Provided by the Host Campus

  • Hosting two meetings of the full Planning Committee on site, the first at the start of the planning cycle (the transition meeting) and the second meeting three to four weeks before the Forum (the final walk-through). The Forum will reimburse for one of these meetings.
  • Identification and negotiation for a block of rooms at one or more hotels for the graduate school recruiters, Planning Committee members, and students coming from campuses too distant to permit round-trip travel on the day of the Forum. Individuals attending the Forum make their own reservations and pay their own costs. A reception space must be reserved either in the hotel or on campus for the California Pre-Doctoral Program reception the evening before the Forum. The Forum will arrange to pay the hotel(s) or campus directly for the cost of the reception and any student groups housed on Friday night.
  • Provision of shuttle transportation from the hotel(s) to the campus, if deemed appropriate (paid by Forum).
  • There must be a designated campus address to which graduate school recruiters can ship their materials. The Forum provides distinctive mailing labels to all recruiters so that their boxes are readily identifiable. Campus staff or student volunteers must be provided to distribute these boxes to the correct tables early on the morning of the Forum.
  • There must also be an address to which the Forum can ship bulky materials that will be used to create the student and recruiter packets on the Friday before the Forum. These materials include the folders themselves, the UC booklet Continue the Journey, and the Forum tote bags. Other materials will be brought to the campus on Friday by Forum staff.
  • The Forum staff and campus volunteers must assemble 1200-1400 information packets for students and 400 for recruiters and presenters on the day before the Forum. The campus must provide a suitable location for this task as close as feasible to the location of the student registration that will take place on Saturday, and it must provide volunteers to assist in this task. Arrangements must also be made for transporting the packets to the registration areas.
  • Careful organization of the student registration tables is crucial to move a large number of students through the registration process in the 90 minutes before the plenary session starts; there must be separate tables for students who pre-registered and brought their confirmation slips, students who pre-registered but did not bring their confirmation slips, and for students who must register on-site. This location must be as close as possible to the site of the plenary session, such as in a theater lobby or in a smaller tented area before the larger plenary tent.
  • Arrangements must be made to feed the staff and volunteers assembling the packets on Friday; the Forum staff and volunteers on Saturday morning; and everyone attending the Forum for lunch on Saturday. There must be a suitable location(s) for the students to sit while eating lunch on Saturday, preferably within sight of the recruiter fair. The students are fed at noon, just as the recruiter begins; therefore, the recruiters must be able to eat before noon. Presenters are also fed, but they do not have to meet with students immediately afterward, so their lunch service can be spread out over time. This expense can be charged to the Forum directly.
  • The Forum is able to provide at least a portion of its own signage to help guide students from the bus drop-off location and parking areas reserved for recruiters, presenters, and student attendees to the area of the Forum, and within that area to guide students to the various Forum activity locations. This signage may in some cases need to be supplemented. Whether supplemented or not, the signs must be distributed to the correct locations by campus volunteers on the morning of the event, possibly moved during the day in the case of signs that can carry changing information, and then collected after the event.
  • Careful planning of the bus drop-off and pick-up location(s) is critical to insure that a large number of buses can be unloaded in a short time before the Forum begins and that students can be moved quickly to the registration tables. Then the students have to be able to identify the correct buses after the Forum.
  • The host campus will need to recruit approximately 50 student volunteers to assist with 1) the student and recruiter registration tables on the day of the event; 2) presenter sign-in on the day of the event; 3) staffing of recruiter and presenter hospitality and refreshment locations; 4) directional assistance and crowd control; 5) staffing of one or more general information tables; 6) collection of student lunch tickets; 7) assisting the moderators or presenters at each workshop to facilitate speaker set-up and help distribute presenter-provided handouts; 8) making sure that there are bottles of drinking water for the presenters before every workshop (water can be stored for the entire day behind the podium); 9) labeling of the recruiter tables early on the day of the Forum; 10) staffing of the student evaluation collection table(s) during the last hour of the Forum; 11) collecting unused or recyclable materials and generally cleaning up after the event.
  • To accommodate students with special needs, the campus must be prepared to provide sign-language interpreters, note takers, and electric carts as needed; this expense is reimbursed by the Forum.
  • Although not mandatory, the campus is urged to arrange for the use of 10 hand-held 2-way radios for communication on the day of the event.
  • Electric carts will be needed throughout the Forum to distribute boxes of materials and transport Forum staff as needed.

Financial Commitments

  • The financial commitments required of the host campus are to underwrite at least the first $4,000 of the day-of-event expenses of the Forum and to provide the staff needed to fulfill the services outlined above.
  • All other expenses will be covered by the Forum from a combination of other subsidies and from earned income. In the case of the largest expense items, such as the hotel(s) on Friday night, the cost of food service, and the cost of renting and setting up tents, canopies, tables, and chairs, the Forum can arrange to pay the vendors directly. Smaller cost items should be paid by the campus and will be reimbursed by the Forum as soon as a complete accounting is provided.
  • The Forum pays directly for the cost of all buses used to transport students to the host campus.
  • The host campus has the option of purchasing approximately 70 percent of the display space on Side A of the canvas tote bags provided to the students (the other 30 percent is used for the Forum’s own logo and name) in return for paying for 25 percent of the cost of those bags. Side B of the tote bags carries the advertisement of the CSU Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program in return for paying 50 percent of the cost of the bags. The same bags are provided to the recruiters, presenters, and others participating in the Forum, but these bags are paid for entirely by the Forum.

Last Updated: January 6, 2009

Note: If you want to host, fill out the Agreement.