What is USSA’s Legislative Convention?
Each spring, the United States Student Association puts on the Grassroots Legislative Convention and National Student Lobby Day (LegCon).
This three-day event provides students at every level of organizing and leadership the ability and opportunity to learn new skills in student organizing, network, lobby their elected representatives on student issues, march through historic downtown Washington, DC, rally on Capitol Hill, and of course build important relationships across states.
A large part of LegCon consists of workshops led by student and professional experts in organizing and advocacy.
Workshop topics consist of everything from the federal budget process to winning a student government election to the history of the student-labor movement. These sessions provide students with a unique chance to learn about and discuss issues critical to fighting for college access and affordability with a wide variety of student and professional organizers. Workshops are hands-on, engaging, and fun!
National Student Lobby Day
The final day of the conference cultivates with a march, rally and lobby visits.
Historically, we will march from the hotel to Capitol Hill. Along the way, we pass several Smithsonian museums and federal departments, including the Department of Education. Holding signs made the evening before and chanting phrases like “No justice no peace, we want student debt relief” conference attendees make their voices heard throughout the streets of DC as we march toward the Capitol.
Once on Capitol Hill, students end the march at a USSA rally that brings together federal legislators, executive officials, student participants, media figures, and more in a dynamic and fun event that garners plenty of press attention to amplify the student voice. Past speakers have included the late Senator Ted Kennedy, Education and Labor Chairman Congressman George Miller, Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee member Patty Murray, and Undersecretary of Education Martha Kanter.
After the march, students meet with their members of Congress to advocate on student issues. During the conference, students attend lobby clinics and legislative briefings so that all attendees are up-to-date on the issues and adequately prepared to meet with their Representatives and Senators.
Students don’t come to LegCon simply to meet and have a good time — we make a difference!
In past year’s LegCon occurred while Congress passed historic student aid reform legislation that invested more federal into higher education than any other policy since the GI Bill. Students were at the signing with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, attended press conferences with Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pension Chair Tom Harkin and Banking Chair Chris Dodd, and even the signing of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act by President Obama. Media coverage included reports from the Washington Post, NPR, CNN, Fox News, the Nation, USA Today, and more!
Want more information about the 46th Annual LegCon? Visit our FAQ page.
Contact USSA Training Director Athena Matyearat firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on our annual LegCon.