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Campus Activism & Advocacy Resources

Guides, policies, and resources for activism and advocacy at William & Mary

As students engage in leadership and work for positive social change at William & Mary, some choose activism and advocacy. The Office of Community Engagement, Student Leadership Development, and Student Unions & Engagement have gathered the following resources which may help students navigate these methods on campus and beyond. 

resources for campus activism and advocacy
W&M Policies & Guidance
Campus Resources
  • Protester Safety and Non-Protest Action Guidelines, W&M Student Bar Association and Student Legal Services: This list of resources covers topics including voting rights and local politics, protesters' rights, and safety guidance for protesters. 
  • Protesting in Virginia: Basic Rights and Safety, this resource was created by W&M Student Legal Services
  • Advertising in Sadler CenterThe Sadler Center offers a variety of ways to advertise events hosted by recognized student organizations and departments, including tabling, bulletin boards, and television screens. 
  • Poster Printing: Recognized Student Organizations are able to print up to two 24x36 inch posters for free from the Student Organizations Resource Area by submitting a PDF to Student Leadership Development. 
  • An Open Letter to RSOs, Black Student Organization & Keyatta Bonds: This letter provides direct actions student organizations can take to engage diversity and inclusion, have difficult conversations, and build meaningful collaborations. 
  • Action Book Club guide, OCE: This brief guide offers a framework for gathering small groups in discussion and action around social issues.
  • University Committees, many of which have formal roles for students
  • W&M Policy & Decision Makers: This is a non-exhaustive list of individuals who affect high-level decisions at the institution. 
    • Board of Visitors. The BOV is the 17 member governing board of William & Mary appointed by the Governor of Virginia. The board recommends and creates policies for academic affairs, student experience, financial affairs, compliance, building and grounds, advancement and other university responsibilities. The board also selects and confirms the university president.

    • President Rowe. The President is the chief executive officer of William & Mary who is selected by and reports to the BOV. The President oversees overall operation of William & Mary, including institutional budget, policies, calendar, enrollment, and personnel.  

    • Provost Agouris.The Provost is the chief academic officer of William & Mary with oversight of educational programs, activities, personnel, and policies. The Provost has significant budgetary authority and the authority to cancel classes.

    • Dr. Chon Glover.The chief diversity officer provides leadership and coordination for diversity efforts, coordinates diversity and inclusion training, supports university affinity groups, and monitors campus climate and hiring practices related to diversity.

    • Pamela Mason. The chief compliance officer/Title IX coordinator is responsible for preventing, detecting and responding to complaints of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation through The Office of Compliance and Equity.

    • The COO. The chief operating officer manages the university’s financial position, including private funding, and can transact business in the name of University. The COO also has responsibility for auxiliary services, human resources, campus security, and the building and grounds.


While these toolkits may not focus on issues of interest to you, we encourage you to look at the tools within which can be applied across issues. 

  • Know Your Rights: Demonstrations and Protests Know Your Rights, ACLU VA: This document provides general guidelines about free speech, counter-demonstrations, marches, and permits.
  • Campus Free Speech Guide for Students, PEN America: This guide provides resources, case studies, and advice on a wide range of free speech student experiences.
    • Content includes responding to discrimination and harassment, engaging hateful expression, inviting and/or responding to campus speakers, planning peaceful campus protests, and understanding campus climate. 
  • Engaging Public Officials, Youth Service America: This toolkit has templates and tips for contacting local public officials.
  • The Activist Toolkit, Student PIRGs: This Activist Toolkit provides the basic tools to run strong campaigns and win victories for students and the public interest.
    • Content includes resources on recruiting others, leadership development, campaign planning, event organizing, building coalitions, and contacting the media.
  • Youth Activist Toolkit, Advocates for Youth: This guide is designed for youth activists that want to organize for change. It contains tips and tools gathered from youth activists.
    • Content includes identifying root causes and demands, analyzing power and developing strategies, crafting your message, building collective power, and sustaining your work.
  • Mutual Aid 101 Toolkit: From Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and organizer Mariame Kaba, this guide is a non-partisan plan for developing mutual aid support systems that has been used by students at other universities across the US.
  • Unpacking Action, Teaching Tolerance: This reflection guide provides a series of examples and questions to consider your understanding of action, identity, and justice. 
Wellness Resources
  • Thriving Activist Toolkit, George Mason University: This list includes resources to mitigate activism burnout including articles, videos, books, and guides. 
  • Ways to Flourish Podcast, William & Mary Health and Wellness: These podcasts cover a range of topics centered on mental health and flourishing through challenges. 
  • Outreach Programs and Events, W&M Counseling Center: The Counseling Center offers a variety of workshops and programs to support wellbeing and resilience which may be of support while navigating activism and advocacy. Current programming includes programs for students who are experiencing living in isolation as well as a program focused on racism and discrimination as students of color. 
Anti-Racism Resources 
  • The Plan to Tackle Systemic Racial Injustice at William & Mary, Student Assembly: This plan is divided into four major areas with corresponding committees: The Reparations Committee, The Police Policy Project, The Academic Diversity Project, and The Students Rights Initiative. 
  • Anti-Racist Allyship Resource for W&M Student Organizations, Center for Student Diversity and Student Leadership Development: This two page document links to many resources for anti-racist actions including assessing your organization, engaging in shared learning, and taking direct action. 
  • Antiracist Bookshelf, W&M Libraries: This virtual bookshelf includes books owned by W&M libraries addressing systemic racism and ways to combat it. 
  • Anti-Racism Resources, Student Leadership Development: This page highlights campus programming, books, documentaries, websites, and other resources for anti-racist learning and action. 
  • Racial Justice and Social Reform Speaker Series, hosted in Summer 2020 by the Student Bar Association and Student Assembly. Recordings from the sessions are available at this link.
Voting Resources 

Effective advocacy and activism requires an understanding of power and how power functions. This TED Ed talk, "How to Understand Power" by Eric Liu, offers insight into the six sources of power and how to engage with them. This Active Citizenship and Advocacy Sustaina-bite connects Liu's talk to some of the resources above.

We also encourage you to consider these reflection questions as you engage:

  • What are the issues you are working to address? Is there a specific concern you are working on?
  • How does this issue affect you and other members of the community (at William & Mary, locally, nationally, globally)?
  • Who, if anyone, is responsible for addressing this issue at William & Mary?
  • Who can you go to for support when addressing this issue (other students, employees, offices and departments, community organizations, etc.)?


This page was created collaboratively by the Office of Community Engagement, Student Leadership Development, and Student Unions and Engagement, as well as with feedback from current student leaders and activists.  If you have suggested resources to add, please send them to [[oce]].