According to Luther P. Gerlach, there are three types of structural movement organizations, segmentary, polycentric, and networked. I have been been working with Brock’s chapter of Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG) on campus, which is a networked organization. OPIRG links resources and interests with many different universities in Ontario. Gerlach says,
the diverse groups of a movement are not isolated from each other. Instead, they form an integrated network or reticulate structure through nonhierarchical social linkages among their participants and through the understandings, identities, and opponents these participants share.
I have noticed from working with people at OPIRG that no matter volunteer’s personal interest or focus within the organization, everybody is really supportive of reaching everyone’s goals. OPIRG is about building alliances with people and building networks of advocates for social (and environmental) change. Like Gerlach talks about, communication technologies like phones, internet, newsletters, and emails, keep members informed of upcoming group meetings or opportunities to help out. It’s nice being part of something bigger than myself and trying to do something meaningful.