Employees: Get Involved in the Legislative Process
Weber State encourages all faculty and staff to be informed about political issues in our state, support important initiatives that impact the lives of Utahns, engage in the political process and work with local legislators to help shape the process and the outcome.
WSU recognizes that faculty, in particular, often have specific expertise that can be a source of information and evidence that can be helpful to legislators as they make critical decisions. Legislators welcome informed advice and opinions from constituents.
Here are some tips for getting involved in the legislative process:
Contact Your Representative
To find your state representative and state senator, visit the state legislative website.
When you identify your legislator, you may call or email. During the legislative session you are most likely to reach a legislator via email.
Who Do You Represent?
When contacting a legislator, if you wish to establish your credentials on a specific topic and feel that your field of study lends credibility to your opinion, you may feel it is pertinent to say you teach a specific subject at Weber State University.
If this happens, it’s also important to say you are offering perspective as a constituent and that you are not representing the position of the university.
WSU is working to advance certain legislation that benefits the university as an institution by convincing each legislator, one by one, to support things such as compensation, performance funding and stackable credentials for strategic workforce investments.
Legislators consider requests from all eight institutions of higher education in Utah. If a legislator believes that they have already offered support to WSU on an issue for a faculty member, it becomes difficult (if not impossible) to gain additional support for an official university initiative.
Using university email or stationery is particularly problematic because it gives the appearance that you are speaking on behalf of the university. In addition, engaging in political activity using university email or making an expenditure of resources for such activity is prohibited by law, with some limited exceptions such as for purposes of engaging in research activity.
Political activity includes actions like:
- Influencing a ballot proposition, initiative or referendum
- Soliciting a campaign contribution
- Influencing someone directly or indirectly to vote for or against a candidate or judge in any election process
As you consider contacting a legislator, if you have questions or need to talk about how to approach someone, please reach out to the WSU Director of Government Relations, Devin Wiser at 801-668-0817 or firstname.lastname@example.org.