Preparing for the 2020 Election

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Preparing for the 2020 Election

Readying for Campus Flashpoints in a Time of Heightened Student Activism

Oct 01, 2019-Jun 30, 2020 — Collaborative

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About the Collaborative

With the 2020 U.S. presidential election around the corner, institution leaders can expect increased student activism and campus unrest. If 2016 is any guide, college campuses will experience an influx of controversial speakers, third party-actors encouraging activism, and challenges to free speech.

Is your campus ready for these challenges?

The latest wave of student activism on campuses caught many institutions by surprise. One of the distinguishing factors about recent activism is the widespread presence of external influences, or third-party actors. For example, they pop up on campus to distribute literature or speak with students or pressure institutions to re-evaluate their actions related to promoting free speech on campus.  While the actions of third-party actors can’t always be anticipated, an increasingly common campus climate flashpoint occurs when potentially controversial speakers or events happen on campus. Responding to controversial speakers and events is a task that requires cross campus collaboration.

To support your preparation, we’ve brought together the best of EAB resources on this topic and designed a series of events that will help you identify risk early, craft crisis response tools, and establish free speech policies that can mitigate the impact of climate crises on the campus community and the institution’s brand and reputation.

Student Affairs leaders are invited to join the Implementation Collaborative on Preparing for Campus Flashpoints in a Time of Heightened Student Activism to:

  • Implement recommended tactics to prepare for campus flashpoints
  • Troubleshoot common issues with EAB experts and like-minded peers
  • Learn from institutions that have effectively responded to controversial events
  • Create a network of peers to learn from and consult with in real-time

Recommended Audience

  • Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Team member responsible for crisis communication and response, such as Dean of students, director of communications, associate vice president
  • Canadian institutions can also benefit from this material, as they are experiencing similar tensions on their campuses as their U.S. peers.  Though this Collaborative will have a U.S. context, the resources and activities are applicable to U.S. and Canadian institutions