The University of Minnesota relies on state and federal funding to carry out its education, research, and outreach programs across Minnesota. State funding, in particular, helps keep tuition low, renews buildings and infrastructure, advances critical research, and supports outreach to Minnesota communities across the state.
UMN Advocates is an essential component of the University’s legislative effort. Composed of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and other supporters, UMN Advocates help raise awareness and support for the University at the State Capitol through emails to elected officials, events, and other coordinated efforts.
Unsure you can make a difference at the State Capitol? We will teach you about the legislative process and how to advocate effectively with your elected officials. Whether you join us for U of M Day at the Capitol or prefer to take action from home, you can help strengthen the future of the University of Minnesota.
Become a UMN Advocate
As a UMN Advocate, you can help increase funding for University of Minnesota through emails to elected officials, events, and other coordinated efforts. The University’s Government Relations team will provide opportunities for you to build relationships with your legislators and learn new advocacy skills. Whether you join us for U of M Day at the Capitol or prefer to take action from home, you can strengthen the future of the University.
The Minnesota Legislature is in session
The Minnesota Legislature convened on January 3; nearly 30% of legislators are new to the State Capitol. Although 54 legislators are alumni of the University of Minnesota, many new legislators are not familiar with the important University work that relies on state funding. This session, we need your help educating this new legislature about the University’s statewide impact.
A thoughtful email illustrating a personal story often makes a great impression.
- Find your legislator.
- Tell your story:
- Why the U of M?
- How are you making Minnesota a better place?
- What are some obstacles that you have experienced?
- Keep the tone positive and courteous.
- Indicate that you would appreciate a reply.
Tweeting legislators is a surprisingly effective method of communication.
- Find the Twitter handles of your elected officials and tag them to say hello, share your opinion, or ask a question.
- Think about including any relevant hashtags that may be available.
- And don't forget that a positive and courteous tone applies to social media too.
Calling your lawmaker is quick and easy. The vast majority of the time you will leave a message. Go to z.umn.edu/MyLegislator to get your Senator or Representative's contact information.
When you call, give your name and express your thoughts. Stay positive and let the lawmaker know why the University of Minnesota is important to you. When they call you back, don't be intimidated. Simply have a conversation and remind them that you are a voter, the University is important to you, and ask them to support the U!
Visiting your lawmakers in-person is a great way to connect and make your voice heard face-to-face. Set up a meeting and tell your lawmaker your story.
The opinion page is a widely read section of the newspaper. Letters to the editor are often saved by elected officials and can indicate to opinion leaders that an issue is on the public's mind. Even a few letters throughout Minnesota can spur increased news coverage and renewed attention.
Your story is a powerful way to bring to life your support for the University of Minnesota. Feel free to mention the broad importance of the U of M, but be sure to talk about your personal connection as well.
U of M Day at the Capitol
Join us at noon on February 23 for an ice cream social at the State Capitol with state legislators in support of U of M Day at the Capitol. Afterwards, UMN Advocates are invited to participate in a group photo on the House floor and a Capitol tour by the Minnesota Historical Society.