One of the most interesting aspects of Current Affairs is the appeal it has for both old and new members of U3A. In Harrow we have had to increase our classes from one to four running concurrently.
In today's world of disasters with half-baked solutions, we feel that we have all or some of the solutions to these problems and yet we have no outlet for our views, well we have now, it is called Current Affairs or so we would like to think and might I say it is great to get things 'off your chest'.
Every U3A should have a Current Affairs and it is not too difficult to run one in your area, there are some ground rules that are necessary in order for it to be run successfully and these are;
a/ Determine the class size you want.
b/ Determine the best method of achieving this.
c/ Lay down the ground rules for Current Affairs debates and I would suggest the following;
- Subject matter raised should not offend.
- Express the view that every individual is entitled to give his or her opinion whether right or wrong without interruption.
- Any person expressing an opinion should address their remarks to the chairman.
- Try and avoid continued interruption by others, and insist that continued interruption will lead to exclusion for that individual for that session, this to happen after making a few goodwill approaches to calm it down.
d/ As Group Leader be prepared at the beginning to chair these classes for about three sessions until you have recruited other people to chair a class.
e/ Draw up a roster for the term for people prepared to chair a session with relevant gaps in between sessions, thus recreating renewed interest for the individual chairmen .
f/ Insist that preparation for subject matter for each session be current if at all possible as it then becomes more relevant. There will be other aspects that will have to be considered by the Group Leader, but these you will find out in time.
Best of luck.