Student Advisory Board Overview

About the Project

The Vanderbilt Project on Unity & American Democracy (the Project) seeks to enhance Americans’ capacity for civic engagement by supporting the rule of law as we advocate for adjudicating disagreements through relevant facts and data. Evidence, as opposed to unfounded assertions, enriches the national conversation and serves as a foundation for open political discourse. Vanderbilt has been and will continue to be a leader on this front, helping to not only bridge America’s deepest differences but offer solutions to the nation’s pressing problems.  Through accessible and nonpartisan (and bipartisan) programming aimed at both the university and broader community, the Project seeks to increase both Americans’ and students’ capacity for informed and meaningful engagement in the democratic process and demonstrate Vanderbilt’s leadership on this vital topic.


Student Advisory Board Mission

To better incorporate Vanderbilt student voices into the national conversation on democratic institutions and to ensure that the Project continues to develop enriching programming which speaks to student concerns, the Project is selecting up to eight undergraduates to serve on its Student Advisory Board. Chosen through a competitive application process and representing a wide variety of academic disciplines, the Student Advisory Board will reflect the diversity of opinion and experience inherent in Vanderbilt’s undergraduate population. Student Advisory Board members will contribute their ideas and expertise to the Project’s research and programming while being afforded opportunities to engage with the Project’s co-chairs and speakers.



  • Attend two in-person planning meetings per semester with the Project staff
  • Attend two in-person Unity events per semester
  • Work one in-person Unity event per semester
  • Assist in promoting events and recruiting attendees for in-person programs
  • Advance the Project’s mission by delivering at least one substantive research, writing or creative project per semester


  • Maintain a posture of learning and growth
  • Strive to be an informed citizen, engaging with a variety of sources and topics and staying up-to-date on current political issues and events
  • Act and speak respectfully to other Student Advisory Board members, Project staff, co-chairs, partners and guests
  • Complete at least one substantive assignment per semester

Benefits of Participation

  • $2,500 annual stipend ($1,250 paid per semester)
  • Attend trainings offered as part of the Vanderbilt Unity Lab
  • Opportunity to assist with research and special projects
  • Opportunity to engage with the Project staff, co-chairs, professional partners and guests
  • Exposure to new ideas, while being offered a space to cultivate and curate conversations with those who may hold differing views or beliefs

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