Through WSA's 10 campuses and 13 members across the state, we aspire to achieve continued victories in the representation and protection of student interests through expanded participation, diversity of ideas and unity of voice. The WSA is comprised of student body leadership from each campus and collectively represents more than 150,000 students studying at the associate, baccalaureate, graduate and professional levels.
The WSA believes it takes two key components of a student movement to be successful: legislative advocacy and grassroots organizing. We emphasize knowing the insider track of Olympia and keeping a consistent presence with legislators, as well as keeping students informed and mobilized around the issues that impact them so that they're voices are amplified where it counts.
To accomplish this, we have a full time student lobbyist from each member campus who moves to Olympia during the legislative session. We also have chapters and lobby teams who support the student lobbyists' work on each campus.
In order to ensure that the WSA is truly representing students at the Capitol, the students pass a legislative agenda every November. The legislative agenda reflects issues that are critical to higher education in Washington State and issues that have voiced concern about on WSA member campuses. Each year, the WSA choses priority legislative issues, as well as additional bills or issues that the WSA as an organization will provide support for.
The WSA began working in coalition with the Washington Bus, the Win/Win Network and WashPIRG in 2011 to put together the first Student Vote Coalition. In summer of 2012, just months before the election, the students of WSA came together to set a statewide goal of registering 6,000 new students to vote. With only 2 - 3 weeks to collect these, the WSA exceeded the goal and registered just over 9,500 students to vote across the state, adding to the Student Vote Coalition's total of 14,357 new students registered.
In 2013, the Student Vote Coalition work continued. Even in a non-presidential election year, the WSA registered 5,259 students to vote. This added to the statewide Student Vote Coalition total of 5,721. The 2014 mid-term election was another successful vote year. The WSA registered 5,439, which contributed to the Student Vote Coalition total of 8,679.
The WSA particpates in lobbying work at the Capitol throughout the legislative session. The goal of these lobby days is to ensure legislators hear student voices consistantly during session, and also to collectively build power and presence with decision makers in Olympia. WSA is involved in campus specific lobby days, statewide lobby days which bring together students from across the state to advocate on higher education issues, and smaller issue specific lobby trips.