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What is the University Legislative Scholars?

The University Legislative Scholars (ULS) program is an experiential learning program that engages OSU students in Oregon’s state legislature. Upper division students from majors across the university participate with university leaders, the Associated Students of OSU (ASOSU), 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 legislative process.


Individual Development Plans

While learning about the basic operations of the legislature, participants construct an Individual Development Plan (IDP) that engages them in a current public policy issue with state legislators, a bill or policy under consideration, and advocates and analysts who are involved in the legislative process. Throughout the academic year, ULS 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.

The program has four goals:

  1. 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;
  2. To ensure that voices that have historically been absent from the decision-making process in Oregon are heard;
  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.


The University Legislative Scholars Program in 2023-24

The ULS is a year-long experience.

  • The fall quarter will focus on learning the basics of Oregon’s legislative process and the people who populate it – with a focus on legislators and legislative staff, advocates, state agency staff and university leadership involved in the legislative process.
  • The winter quarter will focus on the 2024 short legislative session with students choosing bills of interest and following them through the process.
  • The spring quarter will continue to follow legislative issues of interest while students divide into teams to analyze and predict the results of the 2024 primary election.

The Program is seeking a cohort of approximately 30 students. We are actively seeking the participation of historically marginalized, under-represented, and STEM students who are interested in engaging in the political process.

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