Solutions from the 2017 National Campaign Conference

At the 2017 National Campaign Conference, IOP Polling Director John Della Volpe led a town hall with 70 student ambassadors to identify some of the biggest issues facing America today. The process, which has been used to crowdsource solutions to other problems facing federal, state and local governments, resulted in the selection of three main topics for further development by student leaders. Over the next two days, student groups designed solutions to the issues of inequality, civics and national service, and media and social media. Students shared their reports and returned to campus energized to implement these solutions on a local and national scale. Read below to learn more about the 2017  student groups and solutions.

Inequality

Structural inequality has been hard to solve because individuals aren’t taught to consider other points of views and experiences. Specific areas to tackle include lack of awareness, understanding, and the significance of diversity, accurate fact-based U.S. history, descriptive representation, and empathy.

Proposed solutions:

  • Create lesson plans to implement in public middle schools across the U.S.
  • Sample lesson plans will include: definitions of tolerance, free speech, fact-based history of rights
  • Utilize interactive and demonstrative learning to engage students
  • Have engaged community members (ages 18-32) participate in a fellowship program to gain skills such as grant writing, public speaking, networking abilities, etc.
  • Provide trainees with financial support to fulfill their community projects

​See more of the group's proposed solutions and research in their slides below.

Media and Social Media

Combatting the “fast food” consumption of news and using social media to bridge the gap among Americans.

Proposed solutions:

  • #ConnectUS social media campaign: Connect individuals with different opinions and perspectives through a social media campaign
  • Media Literacy: to address lack of knowledge and awareness about how to interact with media, create a media literacy education program with college students and local schools. As as a second step, build a national resource umbrella organization and distribute curriculum nationally

​See more of the Social Media group's proposed solutions and action items here.

Citizenship

Student Initiative to Reconnect America with three issue areas: Vague registration and voting laws vary state to state and college students are not provided with enough information to fully participate; Children are not taught civics in schools; and lack of national service opportunities.

Proposed solutions:

  • Provide a national database codifying voter laws in each state. Incentivize colleges to launch voter registration laws for new students
  • Partner with university students across America to create civics fairs at middle schools in their communities
  • Lobby Congress for an amendment to the Serve America Act and an attached marketing campaign targeting high school and college students

​See more of the Citizenship group's proposed solutions and action items here.