C2R on College Campuses

Conversations to Remember’s college volunteers are establishing campus chapters where members can meet up in person to learn and engage in various activities together. This is the first time Conversations to Remember has helped host physical gatherings, and volunteers are reaching out to their college communities to expand the organization and further its mission. 

Ilayda, a senior at Ohio State University, is the President of the school’s Conversations to Remember chapter. After meeting with the management team at C2R, Ilayda was able to establish the club in Fall 2022 — she shared her experience and tips with me during a Zoom call. 

The student-run organization is led by the Executive Board, a team of nine volunteers with designated roles: President, Vice President, Events Chair, Logistics Chair, Outreach Chair, Social Media Chair, Marketing Chair, Treasurer and a photographer. The members of the Executive Board work together to coordinate in-person meetings for general members, where they host special activities related to C2R’s mission, like watching films related to dementia, making arts and crafts dedicated to local senior citizens and listening to guest speakers. 

Conversations to Remember’s campus chapters provide a way for volunteers to engage with each other, find new members and explore C2R roles outside of the virtual calls that C2R has built its reputation on. For college students interested in establishing a Conversations to Remember club, there are a few things to consider before starting your student organization application. 

First, it is helpful to designate Executive Board roles to a group of students. An organized Executive Board ensures that general members are up to date, club activities and events run smoothly and communication between the campus chapter and Conversations to Remember is maintained.

Next, plan an initial meeting to organize prospective members, explain to them what Conversations to Remember is about, to distinguish the club’s identity from C2R’s identity, to discuss how the club will function, and to introduce the club’s upcoming events for the quarter/semester. Events may include guest speakers, movie nights or even crafting activities dedicated to a senior. 

The most important event hosted by Conversations to Remember is the Talk-a-thon, which takes place annually during the months of November and December. C2R’s campus chapters are encouraged to form fundraising teams through their campus chapter and participate in the Talk-a-thon as a group to raise money and connect with senior citizens throughout the event period.

Conversations to Remember’s college campus chapters are still new. There are only a few established ones, with many still in the midst of the planning and application processes. The structure Ilayda developed at OSU is a great model to guide new C2R chapters, but it may not work for every campus, so adjust accordingly when thinking about how to get the most of your C2R chapter.