Presidential Student Legislative Advocates

Application Process

Presidential Student Legislative Advocates (PSLA) is open to undergraduate students enrolled at OSU-Corvallis, OSU-Cascades, and on-line.

Diversity and inclusion are fundamental to creating change in a political world that is currently marked by polarity, a pandemic, historic racial injustice and an uncertain future. We are actively seeking the participation of historically marginalized and under-represented students who are interested in engaging in the political process.

The program has three goals:

  • To ensure that voices that have historically been absent from the decision-making process in Oregon are heard.
  • To facilitate the long-term professional development across all academic disciplines of historically marginalized populations in the political and public policy process; and
  • To improve the program’s ability to understand, reflect, and incorporate equity and inclusion in its own activities and content.

Two pathways are available for students to apply to the program. First, as in previous years, we are reaching out to University leaders, faculty and advisors seeking recommendations for students to participate in the Program. In addition, any 3rd- and 4th-year student may apply directly to the program. All participants, whether nominated or applying directly, must compete an application. Please APPLY HERE.

Applications must be submitted by Friday, September 11, 2020. Before applying, students should confirm that their schedules will enable them to participate in weekly, hour-long meetings held at 5:00 PM each Wednesday over Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters. We anticipate that most PSLA activities during the 2020-21 academic year may be conducted remotely. Depending on Covid-19 related restrictions, additional activities will occur throughout the year, including visits to Salem during 2021 legislative session, and elsewhere across the state.

The application requires three substantive elements:

  • A brief “issue statement” that addresses why the student is interested in participating in the PSLA and identifies a state policy issue that is of concern to the applicant;
  • A current resume; and
  • The name and contact information of an OSU faculty or staff member who can serve as a reference – transfer students may use a reference from another institution.

The Issue Statement: The issue statement should indicate why the student is interested in participating in the PSLA. The statement must include two to three brief paragraphs that identify a current state policy issue that is personally interesting to them. The statement should be no longer than one page, and describe the issue, why it is important, and what change the applicant would like to create or be a part of. In addition to assessing the applicant’s level of interest and writing ability, the issue statements help us shape the PSLA around topics and activities that are of interest to program participants.

The Resume: Resumes are used to evaluate previous levels of engagement and experience. Participants in the program will use resumes when reaching out to individuals and offices for job shadowing, internships and other experiential learning opportunities. (The PSLA will also provide workshops to assist participants in refining and developing their resumes.)

The Reference: We require applicants to provide the name of one OSU faculty member, advisor, or staff member who is familiar with their activities and interests. Transfer students who are new to OSU are welcome to use a reference from another institution. We encourage students to notify their reference that they have been included in the application.

All applications submitted by the closing date will be reviewed by a committee consisting of faculty and advisors, practitioners who are familiar with the program, and students who have previously participated in the program.

Applications will be reviewed based on the level of interest in the program; previous involvement and engagement in university or community-based activities; writing ability; degree to which applicants followed the application process; and ability to represent the diverse array of students enrolled at OSU.

All applicants will be notified of their status before the first week of the fall quarter. Those who have been accepted will be provided with the necessary approvals to enroll in the non-credit course for the PSLA.

If you have questions about the PSLA please review the Q&A and feel free to contact the director – Jock Mills: Jock.mills@oregonstate.edu