One of the most common things we hear from non-political students on campus is “I can’t do anything – I’m just a student.” With classes set to resume shortly (you can almost hear the groaning as I type this), we decided to put an end to that misconception once and for all.
10 Ways of Becoming Involved Politically on Campus
1. Become a member of a political party on campus. Be a member of your university’s Conservative, Liberal, NDP, or whatever other political group you identify with. Be active in this organization, and speak out through this medium.
2. Run for student government. Often student government officials are instrumental in creating campus policies and in influencing the things that occur on campus on a daily basis. Be a part of that decision-making body.
3. Join the pro-Israel community. Go to Israel events, and be a proud member of the pro-Israel community on campus.
4. Become a leader in the pro-Israel community. Take a leadership position in a pro-Israel group on campus. If one does not exist, create it, and develop a team of motivated individuals to lead the group. In this position, bring speakers to campus, organize events, and try to engage other students in pro-Israel activity.
5. Develop a relationship with your elected officials. Write letters and emails, make phone calls, volunteer on a campaign, and plan visits to your local M.P. Remember: it is much more difficult to say no to a friend than to a stranger; develop a friendship with your elected official, and continue to foster that friendship.
6. Bring an elected official and other speakers to campus. Invite your local MP or other speakers to come speak on campus about an issue that is important to you and other students. Don’t just bring any speaker that wants to come. Set goals, and make sure that the events you plan fulfill those goals. Bring speakers that will engage and connect to the students that you want to reach out to.
7. Find issues that you care about and rally behind those issues. You will always be more productive and effective when you are working for an issue that you care about personally. Whether it’s a university policy that you think is unfair, or federal legislation that you support, choose an issue, find like-minded students, and rally behind that issue together.
8. Reach out to other students. Remember: events don’t engage people, people engage people. Personally invite students to participate in your group, and do so by explaining to them why they personally would be an asset. Use social networking tools (e.g. facebook or MSN) to your advantage.
9. Get involved in Jewish organizations on campus. Get involved in Hillel, Chabad, or the Jewish Student Union. Use the resources provided by these organizations, including their mailing lists and other communications as an avenue to get your message out.
10. Become a CJPAC Fellow. Apply to be a CJPAC Fellow. This Fellowship will enable you to receive specialized political and campaign training from elected officials, participate in our annual Fellows conference in Ottawa, and build relationships with political leaders and other student leaders across Canada.