The Blog


Why Campaigns Phone Bank and How Bernie 2016 is Reinventing the Game

The main purpose of phone banking is voter ID. We call people to cross the Republicans off our list, and make sure that the people who are either undecided or supporting our candidate get a visit in person from our canvassers. If they let us talk to them about the candidate and persuade them, that’s a bonus, but most people don’t like getting phone calls. In-person visits work far better for persuasion. Canvassing maps are drawn by us phone bankers.

Usually phone calls are done by in-state volunteers in campaign offices, but Bernie has seen such a rush of support that he’s been able to shift it over to out of state volunteers who run the whole ship online. That means more time for volunteers to knock on doors and results 5% better than polls predicted for both Iowa and New Hampshire. Now with a new texting system, volunteers are able to sign people up for text updates through phone banks and even mass-text fellow volunteers through experimental new apps like Hustle. Hillary may have the money for more call centers, but young innovators are changing the game for Bernie.

 

Tracking Calls for the CBB Phone Bank Competition: BerniePB

What you need: Google chrome

BerniePB was designed by a few college students and, while most volunteers don’t use it (hence the low call counts in each state), it is a fun way to track calls and compete with the colleges that have teams on it. Its live call map, which shows the calls as red streaks traveling from their state of origin to their destination, can get pretty busy during peak hours and provide a cool visual. It has achievements and ranks to encourage you to make just one more call to round out your numbers.

To join our team, create an account on the site, go to leaderboards, and click here to go to our team page or search for us in the all-time team leaderboards. Then click on apply to join and you’ll be brought in to the group. Whoever makes the most calls before Nevada, and then again before South Carolina will win a prize, like a fancy new Bernie sign!

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Our New Tech: HubDialer

What you need: A computer or tablet and any type of phone

The Bernie campaign just finished a site for its new HubDialer after its old system, LiveVox, got flooded with too many volunteers and started to glitch out. In terms of problems, too many volunteers is always a good one, but HubDialer should solve that and speed up the process. It automatically dials multiple numbers simultaneously based on pick-up rate to lead to 3x more conversations per hour than a manual dialer. It will get more efficient as it learns call patterns through increased use. But because it calculates based on how long each call takes and wants to make sure that no one picks up the phone without a Bernie volunteer on the other side, leaving it on idle will slow the whole system. Log out whenever you would like to take a break. Pick your state and will gives you a login, then sign in and prepare to talk as soon as you hear a beep.

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The Conversation

The Dialer provides you a script that you can just read off of the first few times. If you want to get an idea of what phone banking is like before jumping in, your talk should go something like this:

“Hi, my name is _____ and I’m a volunteer [you’re not paid staff, you’re doing this on your own time and people care about that] with the Bernie Sanders campaign. Is Mr./Ms. [a little respect in terms of titles goes a long way, especially with older voters] ________ there?”

Yes or no (if no, check the appropriate box, wrong number/not home etc.) If yes…

“Great. I’m just calling to ask if you’re planning on voting in [date]’s caucuses/primaries, and if you’ve decided on a candidate to support”.

If they like Bernie, try to get their cell phone number and maybe even a commitment to volunteer. If you get one volunteer, congratulations, you’ve just multiplied your power by 2. This is how our base crew from a devoted core following into the massive army it is now.

If they’re undecided, ask a persuasion question [see voter tips below] if you’re up to it or just direct them to BernieSanders.com.

Make the talk your own, as every candidate has the same script and you want yours to stand out.

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Tips when talking to voters

  • Do your best to make the canned script your own. Every candidate has the same script and voters prefer to hear from you personally.
  • It’s pronounced “Nev-a-da”, as in “advertisement”, not “Nev-ah-da” as in “cheetah”
  • Smile! You’ll sound more approachable when talking according to multiple studies.
  • Have an org up in another tab so that you can look up the answers to questions you don’t know.
  • If the voter is undecided, ask them questions like “What do you most value in a future president?” They aren’t yes/no questions that can be brushed off quickly and encourage the voter to actually contemplate what criteria they’ll hold the candidates to. If you have the info at hand, you can target your answer, which will make it far better.
  • You can phone bank from anywhere. If you have some spare time between classes, why not work the revolution with your lunch break? Campaign work never ends.

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Phone bank Parties

It’s much easier to phone bank with food or friends so meet us on the ground floor of Hamilton to head to events on Mondays and Thursdays from 8-10pm or Saturdays and Sundays from 1-4pm (though we may be away the day of the South Carolina primaries if we road trip to Massachusetts for Super Tuesday). Check them out on our FB page.

There are also parties in Harlem and the Morningside Heights area where we will post pretty regularly and a Bernie War Room open every day from 5-11pm at 355 7th Ave. Room 207! See their event details every week on TeamBernieNY.org

If you feel up to it, host your own phone bank party and email us at columbia4bernie@gmail.com so that we can promote it!

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Last but not least, make sure to sign up for a trip to Massachusetts to win the Bay State on Super Tuesday!

This post was submitted by Columbia and Barnard for Bernie. To respond to this piece or submit one of your own, email submissions@columbialion.com.

Last week, Columbia Dining announced that JJ’s Place will remain open during Spring Break.

After reaching out to Barnard Dining Services, The Lion has learned that Hewitt will not be open during break nor will students be given special permission to use their meal swipes at JJ’s Place.

From the email we received from Al Sorbera, Director of Dining Services:

Please know that Hewitt Dining Hall will not be open during spring break.  Spring break allows us the opportunity to conduct deep cleaning and required maintenance, along with internal training that cannot be accomplished while in full operational mode.

 

Valentine’s Day, much like your “birthday” and various non life-threatening diseases, was created by Hallmark to sell cards to those who’d rather let a glorified piece of construction paper do their talking for them. It’s just another capitalist enterprise, fostering perfect competition between Hallmark, Papyrus, and American Greetings. Aside from the fact that Valentine’s Day is a corporate Ponzi scheme, there is a fair chance that if you’re seeing someone, he/she is afraid of commitment and the sincerity of Valentine’s Day. This means they would probably therefore rather fake a serious injury involving some combination of the Butler Stacks, a JJ’s burger, and a GS student’s walker, before going on that romantic date you have planned.

We all know the legend of Cupid’s magic arrows that make people fall in love instead of, you know, killing them. But, while we credit a violent Roman myth for love, we fail to recognize the true role that amorous dialogue (Jack Daniels), shared interests (José Cuervo), and that “fateful” meeting at 1020 played.

Whose brilliant idea was it to celebrate holidays based on Greek or Roman myths anyway? For one thing, most of them involved some kind of bestiality, which your pets would definitely not appreciate. Apart from those select LitHum drinking games, I don’t see anyone celebrating Odysseus in the Trojan War (though the Trojan™ war does seem to be a more appropriate inspiration for this sort of holiday), or Perseus beheading a Gorgon – even though Gorgons were famous for making men hard as rock. After all, there are so many other LitHum characters worth celebrating, so why settle on the violent “streaker man-child,” who, when he isn’t stark naked, is often portrayed in a diaper (and we all know nothing inspires love like shitting yourself. Ew.)

 So why do we insist on celebrating love with a violent and sadistic infant? Are we demeaning our own ability to love, implying that we’re as inexperienced as, well, a baby? Because we’re not. We swear.

As far as I’m concerned, Zeus is ten times the myth Cupid is for celebrating love. He’s all over Greek family trees, and in order to sleep with that many women, he must have had a mysterious x-factor, (or maybe just a REALLY large… thunderbolt). To celebrate Greek love without celebrating Zeus is perhaps more pathetic than an illegitimate child of the JJ’s Place salad bar and the Columbia Lion’s football season.

Overall, Valentine’s Day is a lie – complete with sappy love ballads and drunk dials. February 14th is technically “the feast day of Saint Valentine,” marking the day in the year 269 when Valentine was publically beaten with clubs and beheaded for trying to convert Emperor Claudius to Christianity. It is the anniversary of the bloody Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre in Chicago which left 7 dead. And finally, it is the day that the State of Oregon entered the Union.

None of these occasions necessitate hearts and flowers. So stop trying, and just drink alone in your room like everyone else.

The Lion is the only publication with an open submissions policy. To respond to this piece or submit one of your own, email submissions@columbialion.com.

As Columbia students debate whether the University is obligated to divest from companies harming the environment, the Columbia Political Union will be hosting a discussion on the resolution:  To fight Climate Change, Columbia must divest from fossil fuels.

From their website,

The Columbia Political Union, organized for and by the students of Columbia University, seeks to enhance involvement in the political process, domestic and international, and draw every member of the campus community into an ongoing discussion of political ideas. As a non-partisan group, we strive to incorporate all points of view, and voices from a variety of political backgrounds.

We were first founded several years ago by a group of enterprising students who wished to bring the student political organizations together, while bringing elevated and informed multipartisan debate and discussion to campus. Our roots however stretch back far before them, deep into Columbia’s history of political discourse and activism. While our specific goals have changed over the years, our broader goals have remained the same. We continue to strive for an engaged and informed campus discourse surrounding the issues that matter to us on campus, in our country, and throughout the world.

Every week, we host a range of events from debates to policy competitions to debate watch parties. They are always open to the Columbia community and will often have free pizza and other refreshments.

 

For more details, check out the event here.

In a surprise announcement, Columbia Dining announced on Friday that JJ’s Place will remain open during Spring Break. While it will be open, it will operate on different hours, running from 10AM to 7PM. To meet student needs, it will accept standard meal plans.

Over the past few years, students and organizations such as FLIP have asked for dining halls to remain open over break to support food insecure students. In the past, Dining has sold break packs of goods that students could purchase to make on their own while dining halls were closed.

 

From a post on the Columbia University Dining Facebook account:

Due to popular demand, JJ’s will be open during Spring Break and you can use your Meal Plan!!!

Hours: Saturday, March 12th through Sunday, March 20th from 10am to 7pm

 

We have reached out to Dining for more information.

 

Update (2/9/16):

Columbia Dining has provided an update about the new policy. We have reached out to Barnard Dining and will update this article again if we get a response.

The need for on-campus dining during academic breaks has been discussed with student leaders in the past, but has been too costly to pursue. Last summer, we completed two major infrastructure projects (Ferris Booth staircase and John Jay plumbing), which now allows us to focus resources elsewhere. JJ’s Place will open this year during spring recess on a limited schedule. We’ll assess usage and then determine the need and feasibility to continue the service for future break periods.