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Elect Her–Campus Women Win, the only program that trains college women to run for student government and future office, will make its program debut at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Saturday, Feb. 15.

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) and Running Start recently announced the program’s 2014 expansion to 50 colleges and universities, including UW Oshkosh and 16 other new sites. Elect Her trainings, which first debuted on nine campuses, will take place in 27 states, the District of Columbia and Jamaica in 2014.

“We are delighted to provide our students with this nationally recognized training, where they will hear from experts, current student government representatives and Representative Shankland. This program will provide invaluable transferrable skills to attendees,” said M. Geneva Murray, director of the Women’s Center at UW Oshkosh.

The 4.5-hour training, which will be held in Reeve Memorial Union’s ballroom beginning at 10:30 a.m.,  covers skills such as how to mobilize a constituency, how to craft a message and how to speak confidently and present oneself as a candidate. Outside experts and current and former student government officials will speak to participants about their experiences and what they have learned from running for office.

While 20 women now serve in the U.S. Senate—an all-time high—women are still underrepresented at all levels of government. Likewise, among U.S. News & World Report’s top 50 colleges, men account for more than two-thirds of student government presidents even though nearly 60 percent of U.S. college students are women.

In 2013, 88 percent of Elect Her participants in colleges and universities across the country won their bids for student government president.

“We want women to see themselves as political leaders on campus, because that makes them more likely to continue on in public office after college,” said Kate Farrar, director of AAUW Campus Leadership Programs. “Our nation needs women leaders because they help change the conversation, whether it’s in student government, City Hall, or Congress. The problems facing our country are tremendous, and we can’t just be satisfied with the status quo. Having a diversity of perspectives is crucial to addressing our biggest challenges.”

“We are thrilled to launch the fourth year of Elect Her trainings. Each year I’m consistently impressed by the college women leaders we meet,” said Running Start Executive Director Jessica Grounds. “Running Start and AAUW are committed not only to equipping college women to lead on their campuses but also to imparting the message that we need them to consider leading in politics after college. We are addressing the lack of women political leaders head on by telling college women that their country needs their leadership.”

In addition to this, female-identified Oshkosh students who attend Elect Her! may also be eligible for an exciting scholarship opportunity. The Oshkosh AAUW branch, in conjunction with the Women’s Center and the Chancellor’s Office at UW Oshkosh, is pleased to offer a scholarship to a female identified enrolled student at UW Oshkosh for attendance at the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL) from June 5th-June 7th, 2014 at University of Maryland, College Park.

The AAUW empowers women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. Our nonpartisan, nonprofit organization has more than 170,000 members and supporters across the United States, as well as 1,000 local branches and more than 800 college and university partners. Since AAUW’s founding in 1881, our members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day—educational, social, economic, and political.

Running Start is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that brings young women to politics so that they are knowledgeable about the process, invested in the outcome, and interested in participating as elected leaders. Our programs educate young women and girls about the importance of politics and imbue them with the skills they need to be leaders so that they can get the “running start” they need to achieve greater political power. With an earlier start in politics, women will climb higher on the leadership ladder, allowing more women to share in the decision-making power of this country.

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