Campus Internships with Florida PIRG Students
Florida PIRG Students works with professional staff at colleges and universities to make sure our peers have the skills, opportunities and training they need to create a better, more sustainable future for all of us. Our campus chapters provide the training, professional support and resources students need to tackle climate change, protect public health, revitalize our democracy, feed the hungry and more.
Internship Program Details:
Our approach requires each intern not only to develop expertise in campaign strategy, but also to become skilled in organizing and the political process. As an intern you will work side by side with professional organizing staff. We have on campus and virtual internships available.
- 100% Renewable Energy: We have the power to harness clean, abundant energy from the sun and the wind, and we can do it more efficiently and cheaply than ever before. Yet we’re still producing and consuming energy in ways that do lasting damage to our environment, our health, and our climate. We can have healthier communities right now and a livable future for generations to come — but to get there, we need to transform the way we produce and consume energy. Institutions of higher education are key to the path to 100% renewable energy because they are significant energy consumers. That's why we're working to commit USF Tampa and UCF to 100% renewable energy.
- Eliminating Single-Use Plastic: Nothing we use for a few minutes should threaten our health and pollute our future for hundreds of years. Every day, people throw away tons of plastic “stuff”—cups, plates, bags, containers, forks, knives, spoons and more. All of this waste not only clogs our landfills, trashes our parks, and litters our streets, but it also washes into our rivers and oceans, where it can harm wildlife. It’s time to stop trashing our future. We're working to get campuses across Florida to ban single use plastic products, including straws and take-out foam cups and containers.
- New Voters Project: Our generation is the largest and most diverse group of potential voters in the country, with our own values, ideas and issues that we care about. Despite the challenges of a fully online model of organizing, young people showed the country that this would not stop them in raising their voice in their campuses, communities, and at the ballot box. Through our work, we organized a youth wave of thousands of activists who helped register, educate, and turn out their peers virtually on over 16 campuses across the state. This work continues this spring as we work to build upon the foundation of civic engagement our student leaders and vote coalitions have created.
- Zero Hunger: There’s no reason why any student should be going hungry in their dorm, or have to sacrifice buying a textbook to buy a meal. In the past, we’ve raised over $2,000 for Knights Pantry on campus, but now we are thinking bigger to eliminate hunger from our campus, and universities throughout the state of Florida. We’re going to be working with Swipe Out Hunger to get the Hunger Free Campus Act passed, which would help college campuses become Hunger Free by increasing the capacity of their food pantries, allow SNAP EBT to be accepted on campus, create hunger task forces and more. We’ll be talking to legislators to support the bill, get testimonials from students and community leaders, and lobby other elected officials.
Responsibilities will include:
- Building a grassroots campaign team at your campus to work on the issue you choose. This means recruiting fellow students through a variety of tactics like tabling, class/club announcements, or spreading the word on social media.
- Organizing political support. Florida PIRG interns will help to strengthen the campaign by building a strong coalition of student orgs, campus faculty and staff, and community partners.
- Devising an effective strategy to commit campuses to 100% renewable energy, eliminate single-use plastics, and implement civic engagement plans on campuses. Interns will work to craft effective tactics for the campus to use and work to hit goals each week that elevate the status of our campaign work.
- Media outreach. Florida PIRG interns work to get our issues and opinions covered by the media, through news releases, “op-eds,” online webinars, and more.
- Attending a weekly skills workshop. Each week interns will be taught grassroots campaigning skills from our professional staff, some of whom have worked in student organizing for over 30 years.
The list of skills workshops include:
- Digital campaigning - How to mobilize student voters in the time of COVID-19
- Working with the media - Generating media coverage on the youth vote
- Running a meeting - From getting the right people in the “room/zoom” to facilitating a productive meeting
- Building diverse and effective coalitions and mobilizing student leaders
- Developing winning campaign strategies and tactics
- Public Speaking - in forums varying from virtual classrooms to town halls and press conferences
- Using social media to educate and mobilize
A commitment to making a difference on issue based campaign work
Strong organizational abilities
The ability to engage others, whether one-on-one or in a group
The ability to think strategically
Strong writing and communication skills
We are looking for students who are self-starters, able to work independently and in a team setting. Our interns are the leaders on these campaigns. You'll be a part of a statewide network of students taking on these issues on different campuses but you'll be the boots on the ground in your community. Internships are unpaid but we're happy to help you get academic or service credit for your work.
Internships are available for undergraduate and graduate students in law, political science, public policy, sociology or environmental studies, but students in any area of study may apply. Previous campaign and/or advocacy experience is a plus.