Rob Rosenthal, Clifton Watson and I sent out this message to the campus last week.
Wesleyan has a long history of supporting student engagement in the public sphere, and our Civic Action Plan sets goals for building civic preparedness among students, faculty and staff and for enhancing the University’s role in public life.
The 2020 election cycle represents a crucial opportunity for civic engagement and liberal learning through engagement with the public sphere. We launch the Wesleyan Election 2020 initiative (E2020) with the goal of encouraging and supporting thoughtful participation of students, faculty and staff in the public sphere. Wesleyan will support electoral participation regardless of political affiliation, and we encourage work across the political spectrum.
The first stage of E2020 will make funds available to students who wish to engage in political campaigns, voter registration efforts, and issues advocacy at the local, state or national level. This kind of direct participation in civic life provides an educational richness that will help students develop skills for lifelong active citizenship, learn about themselves and how to engage productively with others with whom they disagree, and gain organizational skills.
E2020 welcomes all ideas for student work, though we will prioritize applications that seek financial or academic support:
work on campaigns, advocacy, or voter registration that will take place during school breaks (winter, spring, or summer)
work of large groups of students in the electoral process
work on local or national elections and issues that are especially contested
Since winter break will be here before we know it, we encourage students interested in financial support for this kind of work to consult this webpage and submit an application by Friday, December 13.
In the coming weeks, we will announce additional programs aligned with E2020, including service-learning courses and other credit opportunities as well as public programs and additional on-campus activities. In the interim, we welcome your suggestions for programs and other campus activities aligned with the mission of the Wesleyan Election 2020 Initiative.
Here’s a one-page version, suitable for sharing:
Wesleyan Election 2020 Initiative (E2020)
The Wesleyan Election 2020 Initiative (E2020) was created with the goal of encouraging and supporting thoughtful participation of students, faculty, and staff in the public sphere during the 2020 election cycle. The E2020 Fund will award Wesleyan students grants to support work on political campaigns, voter registration efforts, and issues advocacy at the local, state, or national level—across the political spectrum.
All ideas are welcome, though we will prioritize applications that seek support for:
- Work to take place during winter, spring, summer, or fall break.
- Organizing groups of students for impact in areas in which local or national elections and issues are more contested.
- Complete the E2020 Initiative Fund Application found at http://bit.ly/WesE2020. Let us know where and how you plan to engage.
- Provide an estimated budget for your project, including travel, supplies, and/or lost wages for students on financial aid who will miss paid work for this opportunity.
- Upon completion of your project, submit a report accounting for expenses, along with a work verification sheet signed by a campaign manager or supervisor.
- All grantees will be expected to submit a public report for Wesleyan’s ENGAGE blog, which should include photos or other media and a reflection on the experience.
While not required, there will be opportunities to share your stories with University Communications and participate in on-campus sharing sessions. You may also be invited to speak on panels regarding civic engagement, and /or participate in relevant Allbritton Center events.
- For Winter Break support: Friday, December 13, 2019
- For Spring Break support: Friday, February 7, 2020
Application deadlines for Summer and Fall Breaks will be announced in the coming months.
For more information, please visit http://bit.ly/WesE2020. Please email email@example.com with questions about the application process, or for assistance in connecting with campaigns or local advocacy groups.