1) What is SPAC?
SPAC is joint effort of the University of Minnesota Student Association (MSA) (undergraduate student government) and the University of Minnesota Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GAPSA) (graduate student government) to increase student participation in knowledge of voting and public affairs.
2) Who funds SPAC?
Funding for SPACís activities is shared by MSA and GAPSA. Both the President of MSA and the President of GAPSA have expressed total support for SPACís activities this fall.
3) What are SPACís goals?
SPAC has three main goals each with individual component parts:
1) Registering students to vote and Getting them out to vote (GOTV)
a. Registering students to vote in Coffman Union, the Minnesota state fair, the Washington Avenue bridge and individual classrooms throughout the University if possible.
b. Hosting a Rock the Vote concert in which students register to vote as they pick-up tickets and/or attend the event.
c. Contacting students on and around election day reminding them to vote and informing them of where they can vote.
2) Educating students about the importance of voting and the positions of candidates
a. Preparing a survey of Minnesota House candidates in consultation with relevant student groups.
b. Hosting a speaker series featuring prominent elected officials explaining why voting matters. (This can also be used to encourage students to vote.)
c. Hosting a debate between surrogates of the Bush and Kerry campaigns.
3) Advocating on behalf of students at the capitol
a. Organizing lobby days for the undergraduate students, graduate students, and colleges within the University.
b. Tracking legislation that effects students.
c. Testifying at committee hearings on behalf of students.
4) What needs to get done to make sure SPAC is successful?
a. Agree upon the goals of SPAC and the best methods to achieve them.
b. Clearly define each SPAC memberís role within the group.
c. Outline a plan to heighten SPACís visibility and increase volunteer recruitment.
d. Develop a budget for SPACís activities and obtain approval by MSA and GAPSA.
e. Finalize a calendar of tasks and events that are to be completed throughout the year.
5) Will SPAC have any paid staff?
No. SPAC is a volunteer driven organization. That being said, GAPSA will be hiring a public affairs assistant who will be working with SPAC on a number of projects.
6) Who should I contact about getting involved with SPAC or if I have any SPAC-related questions?
Please contact Amy Jo Pierce (Vice President of MSA) and Dan Miller (Vice President of Public Affairs for GAPSA) if you have any interest in or questions for SPAC.
Amy Jo Pierce