Being a new chapter doesn’t mean you can’t do big things. November’s chapter of the month proves that. The University of Mississippi chapter of the John Quincy Adams Society rocketed to the top of the national scoreboard with a rock-solid month. They showed how a steady pace of regular meetings can build a meaningful community – one that provides a firm foundation for holding successful speaker events. That’s what Ole Miss did to kick off the month, hosting a packed room to hear about U.S.-North Korean relations from Cato Institute scholar and Reagan White House aide Doug Bandow. JQA Society executive director John Gay asked Ole Miss chapter president Wills Hay how they did it:
What has been the key to your chapter’s success so far?
Commitment and consistency are integral to any group’s long-term success. At the University of Mississippi, we have established a routine of meeting every week. People who care about the group mark our meetings on their calendars as a weekly event similar to a class schedule.
What do you feel your chapter of the Society adds to your campus?
Our campus already has clubs dedicated to partisan policy discussions such as the College Democrats and Republicans, but it does not have an open space for non-partisan discourse. We offer a platform for those who wish to get away from mudslinging and the hot-button domestic issues surrounding major political parties.
How has leading a chapter of the Society impacted you personally?
Before becoming President I did not realize how much my voice dominated conversations. As President, it is important to lead weekly discussions but not run them. The focus should be on everyone’s thoughts not simply my own. I now believe I am a much better listener because of my experience with JQA.