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 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. 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.
Become a UMN Advocate
U of M Day at the Capitol is February 22
Join University of Minnesota students, faculty, and staff for a rally in support of state funding to support University education, research, and outreach across the state!
When the 2024 Minnesota legislative session begins on February 12, capital investment — also called bonding — will be the top priority for state leaders. The University’s $500 million capital request includes more than 150 Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement (HEAPR) projects on four campuses and 11 research and outreach centers.
The University of Minnesota relies on capital investment (usually funded by issuing general obligation bonds) to renew and maintain existing University facilities across the state. HEAPR funding:
- Reduces operating costs
- Helps avoid costly emergency repairs
- Increases safety and accessibility
- Supports student learning and success
- Enables the University to increase key program enrollment to meet Minnesota’s workforce needs
- Improves research capabilities
- Increases collaboration spaces to promote innovation
- Helps retain and attract top educators and researchers
Your advocacy will be critical as the University faces an extensive and growing backlog of renewal and maintenance needs after years of inconsistent and inadequate state investment. .
This session, the University is also requesting state funding for two additional requests:
- core mission support ($45 million)
- academic health (pending Board of Regents approval)
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.