The Roosevelt Institute Campus Network, a national student initiative, engages young people in a unique form of progressive activism that empowers them as leaders and promotes their ideas for change. Through communication and coordination with political actors and community members, students identify pressing issues facing their towns, counties and states. Taking advantage of the unique resources on their college campuses, they engage in policy research and writing and then connect the fruits of that research to the political process, delivering sound, progressive proposals to policymakers and advocacy groups. We call our unique model of policy activism Think Impact. Adding policy papers to picket signs, engages young people in activism fueled by innovative, student ideas.
Founded as the "Roosevelt Institution" in the wake of the 2004 election, what is now the "Roosevelt Institute Campus Network" became part of the Roosevelt Institute in 2008. It was formed by college students to strengthen the progressive movement by meaningfully engaging young people in politics. The Campus Network emphasizes that young people can do far more than participate in campaigns; students are asked to take action on their ideas and create an impact in their communities. It encourages them to campaign for the progressive policies that they have written. It gives them an opportunity to reshape their communities. It allows them to experience, first-hand, the power of progressive thought in creating positive change. And the Network empowers students to see themselves as progressive leaders in their own right.
Today, the Campus Network boasts more than 8,500 members organized through more than 80 chapters across the country. Chapters foster debate and dialogue on campus, teach policy courses, engage with local policymakers, generate policy, and promote student ideas through conferences and publications. Since it's founding, Roosevelt members have presented student policies on Capitol Hill, testified to city council, implemented legislation, and worked directly in their communities. The initiative is always growing, always evolving, and always looking towards the future.