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Created in 2018 as the Presidential Student Legislative Advocates, the OSU Legislative Scholars (ULS) program seeks to enable students to learn about, and engage in, current public policy issues while also increasing student advocacy in the Oregon legislative process.

The University Legislative Scholars Program in 2022-23

We are anticipating in-person classes that enable OSU-Cascades students to participate on line. We will continue to pursue our goal of fostering diversity and inclusion to create change in a political world that is currently marked by polarity, an on-going pandemic, historic racial injustice, resistance to science, and an uncertain future created by a changing climate. We are actively seeking the participation of historically marginalized, under-represented, and STEM students who are interested in engaging in the political process.

The program has four goals:

  1. To ensure that voices that have historically been absent from the decision-making process in Oregon are heard;
  2. To facilitate experiential learning and the long-term professional development in the political and public policy process, across all academic disciplines, with particular attention to historically marginalized populations;
  3. To support higher education in the Oregon legislative process in order to rectify decisions and actions that limit access and affordability and that contribute to long-term debt for students and their families; and
  4. To help students find their own pathway toward professional and educational engagement in a public policy issue of their choosing.

What is the University Legislative Scholars?

Program participants participate with university leaders, the Associated Students of OSU (ASOSU), the Associated Students of Cascades Campus (ASCC), and OSU faculty in weekly meetings on a wide range of topics with legislators, advocates, legislative staff, and other public policy practitioners who are engaged in the Oregon Legislative Assembly.

Individual Development Plans

While learning about the basic operations of the legislature, participants construct an Individual Development Plan (IDP) that engages them with a particular state legislator, a bill or policy under consideration, and an advocate or analyst who is involved in the legislative process. Throughout the academic year, participants are responsible for implementing and, as necessary, revising the plan as they engage in the legislative process.

Program participants also have the opportunity play a significant role in OSU’s advocacy efforts, with an emphasis on increasing funding for student programs and facilities and reducing student debt and exposure to tuition increases. Activities include:

  • Working with OSU’s Office of Government Relations, the Beaver Caucus, and student government leadership to pursue specific legislative priorities for students attending Oregon’s public universities;
  • Participating as team leaders for various OSU lobby and advocacy activities;
  • Following specific bills of interest as they work their way through the legislative process;
  • Meeting with their own legislators and legislative staff;
  • Attending committee hearings; and
  • Shadowing lobbyists and other legislative advocates as they operate in the State Capitol.

The Program also assists students in finding internships in Salem and Washington, DC.

A review of the 2020-21 program can be found here.
A review of the 2019-20 fall quarter can be found here.

Your questions answered here.

How to Apply

Please contact Program Director Jock Mills with any additional questions: