How does the Cornell Advocacy Program work?
We will communicate with you regularly about news and events that affect higher education. When
public policy issues that impact Cornell arise, you will be notified and encouraged to engage with
elected representatives via letters, phone calls, social media, and town-hall or in-person meetings.
We’ll provide you with the information you need, including guidance and contact information, as well
as more in-depth assistance if you’re willing to meet with a representative in person. We also
encourage Cornell Advocacy Program members to share their activity with us in order to give others in
the program inspiration and insights into how your advocacy is making a difference.
What do Cornell Advocacy Program members do?
Members of the program stay informed about the public policy issues that impact Cornell and
communicate the importance of these issues to elected officials as well as to other stakeholders
within their local networks. Using the resources provided on the Cornell Advocacy Program website,
members of the program may be asked to write letters, engage through social media, make phone calls and talk to legislators.
How can I make an impact?
As more people question the benefits of higher education, advocates are vital.
Your engagement can help to ensure a continued bright future for Cornell, for our students and for
generations of students to come.
How much of a time commitment will I be making if I join the Cornell Advocacy Program?
While there are no time requirements and all activities are purely voluntary, even a few minutes
of your time could make a big difference.
How are Cornell’s advocacy priorities determined?
Cornell’s Division of University Relations, in coordination with university leadership and the Board
of Trustees, develops local, state and legislative priorities on which to advocate. Once those
priorities are determined, University Relations develops a plan of action for engaging alumni and
friends of the university to advocate on behalf of those priorities.
Is the Cornell Advocacy Program a partisan organization?
No. The Cornell Advocacy Program is a nonpartisan group of Cornell alumni that engages elected
officials and policymakers from both sides of the aisle to promote the interests and legislative
priorities of Cornell and higher education.
Does the Cornell Advocacy Program endorse candidates for elected office?
No. Cornell University and the Cornell Advocacy Program are prohibited by state and federal regulations from endorsing candidates for
Does the Cornell Advocacy Program focus its efforts on state or federal government?
The Cornell Advocacy Program engages at the federal, state and local levels of government. In New
York state we advocate in favor of investment in higher education and other issues affecting Cornell.
We also advocate at the federal level, where decisions are made that determine the country’s
investments in research, student financial aid and other key priorities that have an impact on Cornell
and its faculty, staff and students.
I’m not a lobbyist. Isn’t “advocacy” a form of lobbying?
Informed and engaged citizens are critical to ensuring that lawmakers have the information they need
to make important policy decisions. Citizens who advocate on issues of concern to them are engaging in
a protected form of speech that does not generally fall under the state and federal rules defining