Will Your Administration be on the Naughty or Nice List?

by Casey Luongo, University of Pittsburgh

This holiday season, administrations need to know that it’s not just Santa deciding if they’ll be on the Naughty or Nice list.  Students at colleges and universities across the nation have been working hard all semester to rally support around community investment and engage in dialogue with administration around the issue.  We need to let our administrations know that we, along with our supporters, are holding Santa’s red pen this year.  We’ve showed them the benefits of community investment and outlined the path for community investment—the path to the Nice list.  We’ve come too far to let the administration take a holiday vacation from this pressing issue.  At the University of Pittsburgh, we have gift-wrapped and sugar coated a reminder of our demand for the administration.  I invite you all to do the same!


Have you recently submitted an investment proposal to your administration?  Would you like to?  Now is the perfect time to follow up or get your foot in the door.  (See REC’s resource page to view sample proposals)

-Create a large card stating or restating your ask

-Emphasize the importance of immediate action

Let them know that you, student and community supporters are eagerly awaiting their response.

-Give them a deadline to get back to you

Mention that community investment should be your schools New Year’s Resolution!  Ask them to present you with a decision a week after getting back to school.  Let them know it’s your resolution to see this through and you’re eager see the direction your campaign will be taking next semester.


Who is your large card going to be addressed to? Will you be presenting your large card to the person(s) who have the greatest accountability to you or who have the most leverage or who seem to hold the most power?

Present your card to the person(s) who you think are most important.

To reach out to other important people, consider:

-Making cards for each group of desired

-Personalizing candy canes to all people and attach them to the big card

This way, the receiver will feel pressured to engage these people in your ask.


Get this card signed by as many people as possible to show the administration that this is an issue that encompasses a wide range of people and there is widespread support and demand to see this proposal through.

Engage student organizations, Greek life, athletes, faculty, academic departments, community organizations, local financial institutions and other important people in your area as possible.

*Is there one person whose signature would be like gold?

In Pittsburgh, we’re aiming for the Mayor to sign our card.


Figure out the best time and place to deliver your card.

Will you take it to a:

-Board meeting

-Chancellor’s office

-Financial Officer’s office

-Task Force meeting


-Notify your school and local papers days in advance

-Get as many people to deliver the card as possible

-Take pictures and video

-Write an Op-Ed and get it published locally and send it to REC


Now, you can’t take a break over the holidays either!  Make sure you have an action planned in response to the verdict you will be given after break.  Make sure the administration knows you are eagerly awaiting their response so that you can move forward, as you just can’t wait to improve your campus and surrounding community!

And that is how to put some holiday pressure on the administration. CHEERS!

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