National Structure

Student Action is a national organization made up of college students around the country organizing to advance economic and racial justice. We are the youth arm of People’s Action, and we work with many of their affiliate community organizations around the country. In the last year, we began aligning our work across the country around our national Free College for All campaign, and we are now inviting everyone to join us!

Membership

It’s easy to get involved with Student Action and the Free College for All Campaign! You can start by taking action in any of the ways included in this toolkit. Here are additional levels of membership:

  • You can become an individual member at $5/mo. You’ll receive regular email updates on the campaign and events happening nationally, and you’ll have a vote in the election of your regional representative to the National Steering Committee.
  • Your campus organization can become a campus chapter if your org signs onto our College for All Campaign Principles. Note that the organization does not need to be formally recognized by the university to be considered a campus chapter. Your org and its members can then join national calls and will be entitled to a vote in campaign decision making spaces.
  • Your community organization can become a partner if it has signed onto our College for All Campaign Principles. This category denotes campaign allies, and Student Action does not provide direct support to partners unless specifically arranged.
  • Your campus or community organization can become an affiliate if it has signed onto our College for All Campaign Principles and the People’s Action Long Term Agenda, has participated in any of our national actions, and agrees to what’s outlined in the affiliate agreement, available upon request via studentactiontoolkit@gmail.com.

To apply for any of these membership statuses, please email studentactiontookit@gmail.com with information about your organization.

Support

Student Action is committed to supporting folks working to advance Free College for All, but we also operate with a staff-light structure. In order to still provide this support, the Free College for All campaign is structured in a decentralized way. This means that anyone is encouraged to take content from this toolkit and run with it, as long as you adhere to the basic principles of the campaign. Here is a description of the decentralized support Student Action national provides according to your level of engagement in the campaign:

  • Anyone can access the online toolkit, as well as monthly webinars on different organizing 101 topics beginning in Fall 2018.
  • Individual members receive monthly email updates on our campaign and can participate in national events and calls.
  • Campus chapters receive a good deal of decentralized support:
    • A representative of the campus chapter is in direct contact with an individual from the National Support Team, who they can contact with specific questions
    • Members are encouraged to participate in national events and calls, as well as any regional meet-ups or regional support calls that may be organized
    • Beginning in Fall 2018, members can also access online chat spaces with other Student Action leaders from across the country and share learnings and struggles they’re encountering
    • Additional support may be provided as needed, based on the capacity of the National Support Team and how deeply the chapter is engaging in the campaign
  • Affiliates receive the most direct support:
    • Representatives of the affiliate have regular calls with national staff to talk through challenges
    • 1-2 representatives of the affiliate join the National Development Table which has calls biweekly to talk through the development of their organizations
    • National staff and Support Team members lead at least 1 local leadership development training for each affiliate per year if they do not have sufficient local training capacity
    • Many local leaders are in direct relationship with leaders from other parts of the country and national staff through participation in national teams

Campaign Decision Making

Student Action is in the process of building a democratic decision making structure for the Free College for All Campaign. This structure will include an elected National Steering Committee that is demographically representative of the Campaign and elected by individual members of Student Action and our Chapters by region. There will also be a larger decision making body that represents each Student Action Chapter. This decision making structure will be completed and released by the end of Summer 2018.

National Teams

  • Elected Steering Committee (Strategy Team until this body is elected)
  • Story and Principles / Digital Organizing Team
  • Mass Training Team
  • Legislative Team
  • Support Team
  • Structure Team

Ways We Build Community Across the Country

  • Local social activities
  • National gatherings
  • Regional gatherings
  • Join a national team!

If you’re interested in getting involved in any of our national teams or activities, please email studentactiontoolkit@gmail.com.