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Breakout II: Policy Sessions


Our 2018 offering of policy seminars are designed to facilitate substantive information sharing, learning, and action planning on critical issues affecting higher education. Co-facilitated by a student body president and issue expert, the sessions will map out how to make an impact within SGAs, institutions, cities, states, and the federal government.

    Bending the cost curve

    At a macro level, student loan debt has more than tripled in the last decade while more than 60% of jobs will require college education by 2025. At a student level, an unexpected expense of even $300 or less can cause students to need to drop-out of school. With increasing financial strain from tuition, books, housing, food, and transportation affecting student outcomes, this session will equip presidents with the policy knowledge and ideas to meet student needs while addressing high level college costs.


    • Malia Sieve, Director, HCM Strategists
    • Kayla McLoughlin, Outgoing Student Body President, Methodist University

    Championing Mental Health

    Description: 4 in 10 college students experience a significant mental health issue yet just 1 in 3 seek treatment. Fear of stigmas and unknowns surrounding mental health keep too many in the dark about how to help and how to accept support.


    • Josh Ratner, Program Manager, Active Minds
    • Winni Zhang, outgoing Student Body President, University of Houston

    Addressing Campus Sexual Assault

    Nationwide, colleges are struggling to address the sexual assault crisis. An uncertain federal policy landscape is pressuring campus level action and inspiring a renewed commitment to policy activism. Sexual assault affects 1 in 5 college women and 1 in 16 college men with a disproportionate effect on students of color and the LGBTQ+ community.


    • Casey Corcoran, Program Director, Futures Without Violence
    • Barrett Cole, outgoing Student Body President, University of North Texas

    Students at the polls

    From campus elections to Congressional midterms, students nationwide are energized to elevate their voices through voting. Turnout in non-presidential years is routinely low, so this session will dive into toolkits and ideas for how to ensure students know their rights and opportunities to vote in 2018.


    • Spencer Dixon, Coordinator, Students Learn Students Vote
    • Valencia Richardson, Georgetown Law & Andrew Goodman Foundation

    Promoting safety by preventing violence

    In the past year, hate crimes have spiked across the country with concerning trends affecting college campuses. Student safety requires prevention and action from colleges in addressing the roots of violence, which tend to be hate. This session will explore strategies and tactics that can empower campus communities to foster safety.


    • Elissa Buxbaum, Campus Affairs Director, Anti-Defamation League
    • Olivia Buckner, outgoing Student Body President, Mercer University

    Advancing inclusive campus communities

    Description: As campuses grow more diverse, colleges are under pressure to promote inclusivity. Incidents of discrimination serve as reminders of the work that remains, and this session is designed to prepare student leaders to promote campus inclusion.


    • Dr. Kori Street, Senior Director of Programs & Operations, USC Shoah Foundation
    • Zaynab Abdulqadir-Morris, outgoing Student Body President, UC Berkeley
    Earlier Event: June 10
    Breakout I: Policy Seminars
    Later Event: June 10
    Roundtable Discussions over Lunch