2015 Spring Campus Initiatives
The following campus initiatives were launched at AIPAC’s 2014 Winter Saban Leadership Seminar:
Contacting New and Returning Members of Congress
Effective pro-Israel lobbying involves building ongoing relationships with members of Congress. While the new Congress must contend with many critical issues, it is more important than ever for AIPAC-trained activists to ensure that elected officials support a strong U.S.-Israel relationship. In order to maximize impact, AIPAC-trained campus activists will maintain year-round contact with their members of Congress by: calling and corresponding with congressional staff; visiting members of Congress in their district offices; inviting members of Congress to campus; coordinating with AIPAC to organize lobbying missions to Washington, D.C. when student impact matters most; and mobilizing other student activists to support key congressional initiatives.
Engaging Student Government
Student governments are comprised of some of the most politically-oriented students on campus, and they make decisions affecting the entire student body—including the allocation of funds to student groups and setting parameters for campus conversations. This spring, AIPAC campus activists will maximize their participation in campus civic affairs. They will build relationships with members of their Student Government Associations, solicit position papers from candidates running for student government on issues of concern to the pro-Israel community, volunteer on the campaigns of pro-Israel candidates of their choice, mobilize students to support pro-Israel candidates and run for student government positions themselves. As a result of this initiative, pro-Israel students will have greater influence on campus political discussions as well as forge closer ties with diverse constituencies on campus.
Celebrating Israel at 67
As Israel approaches her 67th year, AIPAC-trained activists have the opportunity to educate campus leaders about the intrinsic value of the U.S.-Israel alliance. A greater focus on Middle East issues by the media and academia allow pro-Israel activists to help others appreciate the natural affinity between the United States and Israel, which has grown from a basis of shared values and history and has been fortified by decisions made over the past 67 years. Detractors of the U.S.-Israel relationship may attempt to use the anniversary of the founding of Israel to undercut campus affinity and support, but pro-Israel students will turn this challenge into an opportunity to mobilize their base for greater activism. This spring, pro-Israel student activists will engage and educate the campus through leadership solidarity statements, and events culminating in spring Yom Ha’atzmaut celebrations.