Advocacy School



The Graduate Student Association's Advocacy School is a program designed to provide the Western Michigan University graduate students the opportunity to learn and practice how to raise their concerns and ideas to the local and national legislative bodies. Through this initiative, graduate students will become acquainted with the different issues that affect graduate education in the United States such as graduate students' debt, revalidation of international students' visas, Open Access, and funding for graduate education. They will learn how to engage with their local and national legislators via phone, mail, email and in-person meetings. In addition, some students will have the chance to visit the US Congress to speak to actual congressmen and congresswomen about these issues.

If you have a passion for advocacy and for graduate education, this program might be of interests to you. Here are the requirements to apply:

1- The graduate student must have completed at least six graduate-level credit hours at WMU. 

2- Provide a statement of purpose addressing the following topics:

A) provide the reasons why you are interested in advocating for graduate education.

B) describe past experiences (if any) advocating or any previous training on this matter.

C) describe how do you plan to multiply the knowledge gathered in this program.

3- Unofficial transcripts (the ones you can download online).

4- Current class schedule. If your classes conflict with the dates of the meetings, you are required to provide a letter of no objection in which your professor states that you will be allowed to miss classes for those days.

4- Resume.

The Graduate Student Association is part of a national organization of graduate students known as the National Association of Graduate and Professional Students. This Institution organizes two advocacy training events known as the Legislative Action Days (one in the fall and one in spring), and we participate by sending our representatives. The Association covers the cost of room and board to Washington DC and back. We will try to accommodate as many students as possible. However, if there are more qualifying applicants than the Association is able to afford to send, then, the Director of Advocacy and Legislative Affairs will randomly select a number of this applicants in a process that will be open to all participants to see. The selected candidates will be contacted, and instructions will be provided so they can be prepared for the training.

The next Legislative Action days will take place on Friday, March. 9 to Tuesday, 13, 2018. Nevertheless, the selection process will be finalized by Friday, Feb. 2, 2018. Please, submit your application to by Tuesday, Jan. 16 at 5 p.m. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

If you have any question about this initiative please contact

Legislative Action Day Reports