Empower Student Leaders in Your State: Here’s How

October 25, 2013

As the AAUW community continues to grow on campuses all over the country, members should consider forming student advisory councils in their states. Similar in structure to the National Student Advisory Council, state advisory councils have a greater focus on local AAUW activity.

Two women standing outside

From left: Susan Edmond from Naugatuck Valley Community College and Madison Norwich from the University of Hartford. Both are members of Connecticut’s Student Advisory Council.

Councils help strengthen ties among AAUW college/university partner members, states, branches, and students. The program also creates a space for college students to find peers who are passionate about AAUW’s mission and creates opportunities for mentorship between AAUW members and students. Madison Norwich, a student at the University of Hartford, says the Connecticut Student Advisory Council has given her a role within AAUW and has motivated her to make AAUW known on her campus. Fellow member Susan Edmond from Naugatuck Valley Community College says, without hesitation, that her experience with AAUW helped her find her voice.

The activities of each council vary based on state goals and student interest. Generally, students should raise awareness about AAUW, recruit e-student affiliates, have a role in state programs and conventions, and attend monthly teleconference meetings with the council and AAUW member leaders. State advisory councils can also easily participate in Equal Pay Day activities and set individual and team goals.

The number of students to serve on the council should be determined by state leaders and coordinators. While the National Student Advisory Council consists of 10 student members, state councils may vary based on interest and capacity.

You can form an advisory council in your state in six steps:

  1. Identify AAUW member leaders who will manage the program.
  2. Identify council goals, time lines, and roles (keep the academic year in mind, and plan to have the program active only during the school year).
  3. Recruit interested students by sending applications to AAUW college/university representatives, e-student affiliates, former National Conference of College Women Student Leaders attendees, and other campus contacts.
  4. Review applications and make selections.
  5. Sign up all council members as student affiliates, e-student affiliates, or graduate student members.
  6. Hold an initial conference call meeting.

Although the 2014–15 school year won’t start for several months, it’s never too early to think about how a student advisory council fits in to your state’s goals and programs. Join Connecticut, Florida, and Louisiana and start your own council. Interested in learning more? E-mail leadership@aauw.org.

Paige Robnett By:   |   October 25, 2013