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Michigan Alumni Advocacy FAQ

The Alumni Association’s Alumni Advocacy program offers many opportunities to keep alumni and friends of the university informed and engaged. Here are a few steps you can take:

  • Sign up as an Advocate to receive updates on the issues most important to the University.
  • Learn more about the University of Michigan’s impact on communities throughout the state of Michigan, and help spread the word about U-M’s impact on your region.
  • Attend future U-M Advocacy events. (More details are coming soon.)
  • Become a member of the Alumni Association to fully connect, network, and engage with other U-M alumni and students.

There are several ways to be an effective Advocate, and the time commitment is really up to you. Some Advocates may choose to simply sign their name to a pre-written email when opportunities arise, and others may choose to give more of their time, attending events and getting more engaged in their communities. As an Advocate, you will receive updates on priority issues and developments about the legislature, and there will be occasional calls to action asking you to email/call your state lawmaker or attend legislative events.

No. Becoming an advocate is free, and we are so grateful for your gift of time in support of the University of Michigan.

That said, we also encourage all alumni and friends to become a member of the Alumni Association to support our important work. The Alumni Association is an independent nonprofit organization, and membership helps support the success and longevity of our alumni programming. This includes, but is not limited to, educational resources, career services, regional and local clubs, networking opportunities, Alumni Advocacy, Camp Michigania, and more.

Once you sign up, please confirm/update your information on your user profile page and submit those updates. Providing this information will ensure that we can match you to the correct elected officials for your area and that future actions you take will be as quick and easy as possible!

When an opportunity arises, we’ll contact you about a specific advocacy campaign, where you will be able to see the description of the call to action to decide if you’d like to participate, who we’re asking you to contact, and a suggested message. In most cases, your information will already be pre-populated, so all you will need to do is click one button to send the message to your elected officials. With a single click, policymakers will know that their alumni constituents are paying attention to legislative decisions that impact the future of U-M and the more than 250,000 alumni throughout the state.

U-M’s General Fund pays for teaching, academic services, academic and research facilities, utilities, operations, and maintenance and administrative support. Approximately 13 percent — or $332.6 million — of the University’s General Fund comes directly from the State of Michigan through higher education funding. More than 75 percent of the General Fund is funded directly by tuition dollars and fees. 

Reductions in state higher education funding directly impacts the University’s need to increase tuition costs and fees. Through their efforts, Alumni Advocates can help spread awareness about the importance of public funding for higher education and help keep the individual cost of a higher education within reach for more Michigan students.

Learn more about U-M’s Operating Budget and the importance of higher education funding.

Yes! All alumni and friends of the University of Michigan are welcome and encouraged to sign up as Advocates. Becoming an Advocate is easy, and once you sign up, you’ll start receiving updates on important issues, calls to action, and invitations to special events.

No. The Alumni Association of the University of Michigan is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization. We organize and mobilize alumni and friends of the University of Michigan to participate in issue advocacy on its behalf, mostly in support of higher education funding and policies that directly impact our three campuses. 

Advocacy on behalf of specific legislation is not an endorsement of the legislation’s sponsor, nor is it reflective of any broader partisan support.

No, the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan does not endorse candidates due to state and federal guidelines for tax-exempt nonprofit entities. Our advocacy efforts are focused on preparing alumni to communicate with decision-makers on key issues that directly affect the university or in support of our mission and providing the tools to help alumni participate in the civic process.

Alumni Advocates, in their private capacities as individuals, may participate fully in political activities, provided they are acting on their own behalf and using their personal time and resources and not as representatives of the Alumni Association or the University of Michigan.

For more information, check out U-M’s Guidelines for Political Campaigns & Ballot Initiatives.

Michigan has a full-time, year-round legislature, which typically convenes on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays when not recessed, with the Senate at 10 a.m. and the House usually meeting at 1:30 p.m.

Travis Radina, Senior Associate Director of Alumni Advocacy, at [email protected].

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