WHAT: Vote in the Student Government Association (SGA) elections to reaffirm your support for funding our CONNPIRG Chapter here at Trinity and elect next year’s SGA e-board members!
WHEN: The SGA elections are happening on Monday April 26th.
HOW: You’ll be able to cast your ballot through Qualtrics. We’ll let you know more details as they become available. For now, complete our online petition in support of CONNPIRG and pledge to vote yes!
What is CONNPIRG?
CONNPIRG is a statewide student-run and student-funded advocacy group working to protect the environment, make college more affordable, and to help students get registered to vote. We work locally on college campuses, and have professional staff, like organizers, advocates, and lobbyists in Hartford and DC, who work with us to make sure we make tangible changes. We bring issues that happen in the real world to college students so they don’t have to wait until graduation to make a difference.
Why is CONNPIRG beneficial for Trinity students?
We want Trinity students to have the opportunity to be engaged citizens and make a real, tangible difference on issues that matter to us and society. We think that having our voices heard in the broader political process by voting in elections, signing petitions for causes we care about, and gaining tangible leadership skills helps to fulfill this mission, and the mission of Trinity College as well.
Beyond making a difference on issues that affect all of us – whether that’s locally, statewide, or nationally – CONNPIRG offers students on campus hands-on training in a variety of skill sets that include public speaking, formal writing, planning events, and working collaboratively with other students and members of the government, to name a few. Our campaigns educate and engage students in current events and civics and make it possible for students here to start making a difference right now, instead of waiting until graduation.
How is CONNPIRG funded and directed?
We are funded by students through a $5 per-student, per-semester fee that comes out of the student activities fee. We pool those resources with other chapters across the state and hire professional staff like organizers, lobbyists, and advocates, who work alongside us to advocate on our behalf, run strategic grassroots campaigns, and win reforms that help improve the quality of life for everyone.
Students make the decisions on what campaigns we run locally and which issues we prioritize statewide. The core group of CONNPIRG students on each campus elect student leaders to represent their campus at the statewide level on our Board of Directors. CONNPIRG is open to any and all students who want to participate. The student body at large has the opportunity to reaffirm their support of funding our own advocacy group every few years.
What have we accomplished?
- Increasing the youth vote and civic engagement: We are the largest and most diverse generation alive, and we need to vote to have our voices heard. In the last 5 years, CONNPIRG has helped to register over 5,000 Connecticut students to vote. We help to increase youth voting by engaging people face to face, over the phone, and through creative social media outreach tactics. In the 2020 elections, we made over 10,000 youth voter contacts across the state, contributing to historic youth voter turnout. We hosted various virtual events, including an “Role of the Youth vote in the 2020 Election” Webinar and speakers like Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merill. We also partnered with the TrinVotes Vote Coalition including groups such as the CHER Office, the office of the President, Hillel, Ignite, and Residential Life.
- Making textbooks more affordable: One of our priority campaigns right now is working to make textbooks more affordable. We’ve been working locally, statewide, and at the national level to reduce textbook costs for decades – and we’ve made a lot of progress by helping professors switch to free, open-source materials that cost very little for students. Recently, we convinced our federal leaders in congress to allocate $7 million to open education resource programs, saving students $170 million in textbooks costs. Here at Trinity, we worked to establish a grant program to establish funding to help teachers transition their courses to use free online textbooks. In addition, we’re launching a survey to see how the high costs of textbooks affects Trinity students.
- Working with local Hartford Community: CONNPIRG has been working to alleviate hunger and homelessness for decades. Here at Trinity, we’ve been working to change a loitering ordinance that criminalizes life sustainability behavior for homeless individuals. COVID has made poverty rates in the city even worse so we have been fundraising to support local organizations like the CT Coalition to End Homeleness who are able to work safely on the ground during the pandemic.
- Tackling Plastic Pollution: Nothing we use for 5 minutes should threaten our environment for generations. That’s why we worked to pass a ban on single use plastic bags in 2018 that will take effect in June of this year. This semester we are working to ban polystyrene take out cups and containers in the state and have sent 500 emails to representatives across the state advocating for the bill to pass.
See more victories here: https://connpirgstudents.org/recent-victories/
Want to join our efforts? We’d love to have you!
First, follow us online:
If you want to volunteer or learn more about our internship program, learn more here.
- It’s the 51st Anniversary of Earth Day on Thursday, April 22nd and we have a full week of campaign events planned centered around sustainability and environmentalism to celebrate. We have tons of fun activities planned for the whole month including movie screenings, webinars, statewide lobby meetings and so much more! Sign up for events on our Earth Day Website and RSVP for our Lobby Week here.
- We’re also holding an upcoming fundraiser for our Hunger & Homelessness Campaign to help fundraise for local shelters that provide critical services to the homeless population.
If you still have more questions, please contact us here:
Chapter Chair – Caroline Munn, [email protected], (516) 851-6261
Campus Organizer – Lars Dahl, [email protected], (518)-414-1419
Statewide Organizing Director – Julia McLaughin, [email protected] (781)-696-4310
General contact address – [email protected]