First established by students at Georgetown University, “Hot Talks” are casual discussions in which UNA members and unaffiliated students alike can debate current events. Hot Talks are one of the most engaging events for students, as their opinions and beliefs are the event! Hosted one or two times each month, these events are simple ways to establish a strong presence in the student community and attract individuals with diverse sets of interests. Provide refreshments and even more students are likely to attend!
In response to the 2015 shootings at French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, UNA-Georgetown held a Hot Talk in which students voiced their opinions on the causes and consequences of the terrorist attacks. UNA-Georgetown leaders provided tea and hot chocolate while students discussed and debated the implications – both political and cultural, in the United States and abroad – with their peers.
Do it Yourself:
- Pick a relevant topic you want to discuss with your peers. Look through news articles about current events and see what’s going on at your school for ideas on a theme.
- Decide on a date and time that would work best with your members’ schedules.
- Reserve a space to hold your Hot Talk. Because of the informal nature of these student-led discussions, you can hold them almost anywhere!
- Consider offering snacks or drinks like tea and coffee at your event. Refreshments can be a big draw at student events like these.
- Publicize your event online and in-person through event pages, flyers, and posters. Invite as many students as you can, and be sure to let students know that they don’t have to be UNA-USA members to participate! All voices are welcome.
- Send out reminders a day in advance, so that students remember where and when the event will be.
- Following the event, give interested students opportunities to become involved in the cause and organization. If successful, a Hot Talk could serve as a great way to recruit new members!