WSU is advancing Washington industries …
WSU teams with aviation to develop sustainable aviation biofuels …
WSU partners to develop bioproducts that reduce dependence on petroleum imports …
WSU works with state commodity commissions to conduct needed agricultural research …
WSU developed the technology used for wood-plastic composites used for buildings …
WSU researchers work to improve dairy productivity and reduce disease …
WSU research has made Washington one of the world’s most productive wheat-growing regions …

"Take Five" for WSU and higher education, Cougar Chat, In the News

Your voice makes a difference – “take five” for WSU and higher education

time for action

Take five minutes and make a difference for WSU. Join us in the “Take Five” initiative and share good news with your legislators. We provide weekly tips, suggestions, examples, and the tools so you can be an informed and effective advocate for higher education and WSU. Some of our tips will be geared for advocacy initiates, others will be for seasoned veterans. The “Take Five” series coincides with weekly stories about WSU’s academic and research programs – the WSU land grant mission in action and improving everyday lives. In this “Take Five” installment, we focus on the power of your voice and the importance of sending a letter or email to your legislator …

Other posts in the series:
Take Five for WSU: let’s get started and sample letter for your review
Take Five for WSU: six reasons to join the “take five” initiative

The Power of your Voice

The world of communication has changed rapidly since the internet expanded to the average home computer and smart phone user. However, one thing has not changed when it comes to sharing your views with your legislators.

A personal letter — even if is sent electronically — remains one of the most effective ways to communicate with your legislator.

Your legislator pays attention to his/her mail and inboxes. It is the primary way an elected official knows what their constituents – people who they represent – care about.

A personal letter, using our advocacy tools, describing why you value WSU is guaranteed to be more than a tally mark in your legislator’s office. If your letter is personal — sharing a local example of how WSU has made a difference in your life, describing how you use your degree in your community, or how WSU research has been used in your job or city/town — it’s not only likely to be read, it’s more likely to make a significant impact.

Cougs know how to support WSU - now's the time to lend your voice to share good news stories

Cougs know how to support WSU – now’s the time to lend your voice to share good news stories

 

Most, if not all, lawmakers are genuinely interested in receiving information about the district and their constituents. By sharing a personal story – one that is connected to you and the legislative district – it helps make your legislator care about WSU in a new way and on a different level that is useful to the legislative process.

 

 

Here are some tips for composing an effective letter to your legislators:

  • If you use the tools found here, your letter will automatically be correctly addressed to the legislator and provide the salutation, “Dear Representative Lawmaker” for you – the WSU Impact software/program does all the work
  • Legislative offices immediately document if the letter is from a constituent, meaning that you live and vote in the legislative district. If you use our tools, your letter will include your address and show that you reside in the legislator’s district – the WSU Impact software/program does it for you
  • If your letter is unique and contains content about your connection to WSU, e.g., a description of your expertise due to your WSU degree and/or an example of WSU is making a difference in your district in general, the letter is far more likely to be routed directly to the legislator
  • Do state the purpose of your letter at both the beginning and end of your letter.
  • Personalize your letter. You do not need to explain legislation or provide lots of statistics or numbers – you do not need to be an expert. Talk instead about your life, your family, your job, your neighborhood, your personal belief in the value of WSU and higher education
  • Be brief, but remember these letters are serving a different role than communication during the busy legislative session. Three paragraphs is a good length and always keep it positive. You are establishing a relationship, which works best when two people are constructively working together, understanding each other, and sharing mutual respect
  • Finally, look to “Cougar Chat” for stories that have the headline: Land grant mission in action, improving everyday lives. There is a section in every post called: In a Nutshell: conclusions about the benefits of this program. The concluding paragraphs are easy to ‘cut and paste’ and share with your legislators

We provide several examples of an effective letter using the personalizing techniques:

The first letter is an example that calls for general support of higher education and WSU while sharing how a nurse has used her degree in Kirkland and shares news about the WSU Spokane campus, which is dedicated to health care education and research.

The second letter is an example that calls for general support of higher education and WSU while sharing a story that is posted in Cougar Chat about WSU Vancouver and the Business Growth Mentor and Analysis Program or “MAP” in the College of Business.

The third letters provide examples of how to call for general support of higher education and WSU while sharing stories about the MAP program and the new hospitality business management degree at WSU Vancouver and with positive consequences for job growth in this important industry to Washington State.

“Take five” minutes and support WSU with the most powerful tool in the world, your personal voice!

 

 

 

 

 

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