Affecting Policy on Your Campus
Effecting concrete change is a crucial part of activism for
Feminist Majority Leadership Alliances. These general guidelines
outline an effective approach to changing policy on you
campus. Your first step in working to effect change should
always be to conduct research on the policy at issue. In
many cases, your next step will be to set up a formal meeting
with campus administrators. Your work to affect policy
will also benefit from awareness raising and public education,
further research, and campaign actions.
Whether the group is seeking to change the campus sexual
assault policy, make emergency contraception available on
campus, support unionization of staff workers or any other
feminist issue, these guidelines will help you accomplish
Before Setting up a Formal Meeting
- Research policy through preliminary informal fact-gathering
and report back to the group. Check websites and make phone
calls, but do not set up any meetings at this point.
on how the group should approach the issue. While there
may be multiple strategies for addressing any one issue,
the group must narrow its focus to determine the best possible
- Call your Campus Organizer.
- Meet with feminist friendly
faculty and staff to learn more about the politics of the
issue on your campus and which
administrator or decision makers might be helpful to
you in your efforts.
- Vote on speakers/representatives from the FMLA to meet
with key administrators. These spokespersons need to know
the issue well and prepare talking points to convey a clear,
- Write a fact sheet on the issue.
- Compose a letter on
behalf of the FMLA that explains the importance of the
issue and the specific changes the
group is recommending. Get the group’s approval to present
the letter to the appropriate administrators.
questions that you think may be asked and write out the answers, so that you
are prepared to defend
your recommendation and be pro-active in your approach.
- Make an appointment
to meet with appropriate campus administrators.
During the Meeting
- Arrive at least 10 minutes early.
- Dress appropriately
and be polite.
- Shake hands and introduce yourself. Be sure
to mention that you are there on behalf of the Feminist
Alliance. Mention your major and class year, other organizations
you are involved with and if you hold any leadership
positions on campus.
- At least one person should take notes. This shows your
commitment and aides in debriefing later.
- Be sure to keep
track of promises – yours and theirs!
- Present the
facts, but also draw a personal or local connection.
your speaking time to allow for questions.
- Stay focused
on the issue. Redirect the conversation if it begins to
- If you do not have an answer to a question, say so,
but promise to follow up with an answer later.
- Always leave
something tangible (letter, petition, fact sheet, etc.).
your visit with a question, such as “Can we
count on your support?”
After the Meeting
- Write a thank you note, even if the campus administrator
was not supportive.
- Debrief with your Campus Organizer.
Tell them about any questions you were unable to answer
and prepare responses.
- Debrief with the Feminist Majority
- Debrief with faculty and staff team.
- Answer any follow
- Decide on your next course of action. This
will depend on the situation.
- Follow up phone calls to ensure
that new policy is put into place (if they agreed to make
changes based on your
- If the policy is changed, follow
up with a “test
Make sure that the new policy is fully implemented.
visibility of your campaign
- Submit student senate resolutions in support of the
- Fact Sheets and "Did You Know" campaigns
- Panel discussions, speakers or other events related
to the issue
- Vigils, protests, or teach-ins
- Letters to the editor
- Faculty and staff letters to key administrators
meeting with additional campus administrators, possibly “higher
- Second meeting with same campus administrator to demonstrate
support through petitions and letters from students, faculty, staff, community
Be persistent and patient. Vary your approach. Try new things.
Call your Campus Organizer for help. Keep good records for
future reference. Celebrate your accomplishments!
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