On Saturday, February 8th, 2014, the Women’s Center sponsored the second annual Elect Her-Campus Women Win training on the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus! Elect Her is a 4.5 hour political leadership training with the goal of getting more women involved in student government and public office. Participants practice such skills as how to mobilize a constituency, how to craft a message, and how to speak confidently and present oneself as a candidate. Outside experts and student government officials speak to trainees about their experiences running for office. The University of Minnesota is one of fifty college campuses nationwide to hold an Elect Her training in 2014.
This year, we had 24 participants at Elect Her, including 5 women from St. Cloud State University. Our wonderful facilitator was Tasha Cole, Vice President of Resource Development for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, President of TLC Strategies, and member of the Board of Directors of Running Start. Our speakers included the fantastic Tracine Asberry, Director of the Minneapolis Board of Education, and Catherine Grey, Director of Impact Strategy for The Minneapolis Foundation. Additionally, a panel of woman student government officers, Brittany Edwards (from GAPSA) and Joelle Stangler and Valkyrie Jensen (from MSA) gave insightful and truthful answers to questions about running for and leading student government.
Eight volunteers from the Minnesota chapter of the American Association of University Women helped with everything from set-up to social media – we so appreciated their help!
Comparative results from the pre-training and post-training surveys completed by participants are heartening! After having completed Elect Her training:
• 100% of participants felt prepared to run for office on campus
• 100% of participants planned to follow up with presenters or speakers
• 100% of participants would recommend that a friend attend a future Elect Her training
• All participants responded either “Yes, in 1-5 years”, “Yes, in 5-10 years”, or “Maybe” to the question “Are you planning to run for an elected position in the future?” – none said no!
We have also received great news from Jane Olsen at the St. Cloud State University Women’s Center that “Three of the 5 women who attended from St. Cloud State Univ. are now on Student Government and one is running for President for next year, kicking off her campaign this spring.” This news was passed on to the national Elect Her liaison and is being celebrated.
We are so proud of all of our phenomenal participants and look forward to the growth of this program on our campus!