Welcome to UMA Advocacy
Legislative advocacy is an important way to support UMass Amherst. Meeting with legislators is simple and an effective way to share your ideas and concerns.
When meeting with a legislator:
Be positive. You know that UMass Amherst adds value to the Commonwealth and the state's investment in public higher education reaps dividends. Remind your legislators that investing in UMass is a long term commitment which ultimately improves the quality of life for citizens of the Commonwealth.
Stay on message. UMass Amherst is a complex organization and everyone has grievances. Highlighting these issues is a distraction and undermines advocacy efforts.
When meeting with legislators, present a simple message: Investment in UMass Amherst fuels the future. Your personal story of UMass's impact supports this message.
Cultivate all potential allies. Be polite to everyone you encounter, including secretaries and legislative staff. Important allies and UMass Amherst alumni show up in unexpected places.
Respect the legislator's time. Although legislators are busy, contact with their constituents is a high priority. Respect your legislator's schedule by being on time. Be prepared and state your points succinctly. Thank the legislator for his or her time.
Be prepared to adjust your meeting. Your legislator may be running late, or there may be many other constituents seeking her/his attention. Be flexible and ready to adjust your message and your schedule. Consider bringing “leave behind” items,such as...the annual Report on Research, UMass Extension newsletter, admissions information, UMass Amherst fact sheets, etc.
Go with the flow. Legislators may have to change their plans at the last minute. Be gracious. If the legislator asks you to speak with the staff, please accept the offer. Legislative staff are effective gate-keepers and information-gatherers.
Send a thank you note. Everyone likes to be appreciated. Written thanks are another opportunity to contact your legislator.
Thank you for your UMass Amherst Advocacy.