Up To Us Campus Competition
Students Taking Action for a Better Fiscal and Economic Future
Five students from the University of Virginia (UVA) have been awarded first prize in the nationwide Up to Us competition – a first-of-its-kind, six-week challenge to engage young people on college campuses across the country on the federal government’s long-term debt.
About Up to Us
The students were among ten university teams who took part in a competition to bring the debt discussion to their peers through independently designed campaigns. The campaigns resulted in an unprecedented number of student events, conversations with members of Congress and social media actions related to young people and the nation’s fiscal challenges. The competition is a partnership of Net Impact, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U).
While Washington continues to be plagued by partisan gridlock, thousands of students from different political perspectives, geographic regions and backgrounds came together to make their generation’s voice heard on this critical issue.
Student teams from the following universities participated for the competition:
- American University
- Brown University
- Georgetown University
- New York University
- Rutgers University
- University of Miami
- University of Michigan
- University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
- University of Texas at Austin
- University of Virginia
The panel of competition judges—Erskine Bowles, Chelsea Clinton, Alan Simpson, and George Stephanopoulos— recognized the immense effort and collective achievements of the ten Up to Us teams. UVA in particular demonstrated noteworthy impact and innovation, uniting its entire campus to address the issue of our country’s fiscal health. The second-place team from Brown University and third-place finishers at the University of Texas at Austin also received high scores for the level of engagement and creativity that went into their thought-provoking campaigns.
The students from UVA were recognized by President Clinton at this year’s CGI U in St. Louis, and were joined by the Team Leaders from seven of the the other nine teams. UVA will be awarded $10,000, which they will use to continue engaging college students on the debt issue through sponsorships, research and the establishment of a new Net Impact chapter. Even though the competition is over, a number of schools are continuing the important fiscal conversation on their campuses.
Each of the Up to Us teams engaged their campuses in a broad discussion about the nation’s fiscal health, altogether holding 55 campus events focused on the debt, delivering hundreds of letters and petition signatures to Congress, fostering thousands of interactions between students and leading people to take more than 28,000 actions to learn more and make their voices heard through social media.
“The creativity and enthusiasm of the students participating in Up to Us is inspiring,” said Liz Maw, CEO of Net Impact. “Their ability to connect with students on these difficult issues on a personal level has made a real difference in the conversation, and their energy shows that this year’s Up to Us competition is the start of something much larger. ”
To stay informed of future Up to Us application opportunities, simply fill out the contact form on www.itsuptous.org.