Notes on organizing Lindy at Night

Notes on organizing Lindy at Night

These are some notes on organizing Lindy at Night. They originated based on the experiences of Lindy at Night on October 30, 2009, but hopefully they will be expanded.

Running Lindy at Night requires 5 main things:

  1. Reserving the space on campus
  2. Recruiting assistance
  3. Promotion
  4. Special events
  5. Organization that evening


Acquiring the space

There is a certain amount of bureaucracy you must go through to make this reservation. You need three things:

  1. A standard reservation

    The reservation instructions are at https://students.berkeley.edu/osl/studentorganizations.asp?id=3021. Note that because you need an Amplified Sound Exception, it's a special request.

    (This is the easiest part--but do it early because the other stuff will be more complicated.)

    In October 2009, we got the Savio Steps, the space right in front of Sproul Hall. I think this is a good space because it's easy to find, it's spacious, and it comes with built-in speakers. Unfortunately, it's hard to get because the administrator of the MLK building is finicky about the amplified sound approval.

    I think it's on this form that you need to request the sound equipment you need. At the Savio Steps, you'll need a microphone, the iPod sound adapter, and an extension cord (I actually needed two, so I had to bring one from home). Warning: make sure they actually reserve this stuff! I went to pick it up, and they'd lent out all the microphones! Also, the electric outlet they showed me didn't work that night. You should check with them to make sure it works!

  2. An Amplified Sound Exception

    In order to play amplified music, you need to get this extra certification. The general policy is at http://students.berkeley.edu/osl/studentorganizations.asp?id=1046, with some extra details given at http://students.berkeley.edu/osl/studentorganizations.asp?id=3314.

    The steps are essentially:

    • Email leadership@berkeley.edu to find out what building coordinators are adjacent to the spot you requested.
    • Email the building coordinators--they will hopefully respond with approval. The letter I wrote was:

      The "Lindy on Sproul" student-run swing dance group is planning to have
      a dance on the evening of Friday, October 30 on Upper Sproul / Savio
      Steps. We plan to play amplified swing music from 8pm until 12:30am. We
      hope that, with this being outside of normal campus hours on the Friday
      night before Halloween, it should not interfere with any activities in
      your building.

      I have already submitted an outdoor reservation request along with an
      e-mail request for an amplified sound exception to the Center for
      Student Leadership in 102 Sproul Hall. They cannot grant my request
      until I have received authorization from all the building coordinators
      in the immediate area stating that this event will not interfere with
      the activities in your building. Please reply back to this e-mail to
      give the Lindy on Sproul your permission to have amplified sound at the
      Savio Steps at the above date and time.

      Thank you!

      I heard that the MLK building administrator has been a sticking point in the past. I don't know how to try to make that easier.

    • Make sure the Center for Student Leadership knows it's approved. Just forward the approval emails you got from the building coordinators to amplifiedsound@berkeley.edu

  3. A Certificate of Insurance

    You must fill out a form for "student insurance" at http://www.marshcampusconnexions.com/uc/rso. Personally, their website had technical difficulties as I was filling it out, so I had to call in, and I had to call more than once because they didn't email it the first time. Call them if you need to--this certificate is crucial to making the space reservation official.

    Signing up for this, the website said certificate would cost $225, which sounded like a lot, but it turns out that campus pays for it. Ignore the cost.


Recruiting assistance

You need:

  • Instructors for both beginner and intermediate lessons
  • DJs -- about 1 per hour
  • A master of ceremonies? I think it's good to have someone sociable do this. James performed admirably at Lindy at Fright.

Try getting people at SwingCal, or on the list, or wherever. Really, I can't help you figure out how to persuade people, but you need to do it.


Promotion

You should promote it at least on Facebook, the website, and the mailing list. Announce it at many dances, at Lindy on Sproul, and so on. Most likely the other LoS people will help you lots here, since everyone gets excited about it.

Posting fliers might help. I don't know how many people attend because of fliers. I found that 150 fliers was more than enough for my stamina. Keep in mind the flier posting guidelines--essentially, you can only post on the proper public bulletin boards. I posted on the ground floor of Evans, the main and lower floors of Dwinelle, the main floor of Wheeler, and the bulletin boards on Sproul Plaza, and as many other buildings as I could reach (e.g. Le Conte, Soda). You can also post in the dorms by e-mailing the flyer to osd@berkeley.edu. The flyer must say "Sponsored by Lindy on Spoul" and "ADA accessible".


Special events

You may want to have a Jack & Jill contest, or a costume contest, or whatever. Passes to dance venues work well as prizes, and they'll likely give them to you for free if you promote their venue. Ask this relatively early, especially if you want to hand out physical passes. It's not essential, but it'll make things easier.

Also, if you do a contest, arrange for judges. Think about how you'll get contestants, and how you'll organize it. This can be more hassle than you think, or at least more than I think.


Same-day organization

Make sure all the equipment works. I found that at the Savio Steps right in front of Sproul Hall, the electric socket they told me about didn't actually work--but only too late! (Our DJs made do on battery power.) Check that especially!

You probably want to bring some sort of water--not much is available late at night on campus. We asked for donations in a cup next to the water, and that more or less covered the water we bought.

Arrange for someone to be Master of Ceremonies. (Hint: James is good at this!) It doesn't work terribly well for the technical person to also be MC, since then they'll be messing with sound connections when they should be helping arrange a contest or something.

Good luck!