1. How many members does the Philadelphia Student Union have?
On average, PSU has 150 core members who attend PSU events and meetings at least twice a month.
2. How does someone become a member of the Philadelphia Student Union?
Students can join the Philadelphia Student Union at one of our school based chapters or by coming to a citywide meeting. Our weekly citywide meetings are open to any public school student in Philadelphia. Grades are not a prerequisite for becoming a member of PSU, although members are actively encouraged to reclaim their education.
3. Does PSU improve student achievement?
Based on research from Dr. Jerusha Conner at Villanova University, students from neighborhood high schools improved their end-of-year grades significantly between the year before they began participating and their final year of PSU. Dr. Conner’s research also shows significant improvements in attendance and rates of suspension.
4. Who funds the Philadelphia Student Union?
PSU staff write grants to local, regional, and national funders who fund youth organizing work across the country. The bulk of our money comes from foundations. Every year since 2009, our contributions from individual donors have grown. We receive no funding from the School District, any level of government or any individuals or entities who are seeking influence over our work.
5. What kind of benefits does PSU offer its members?
The Philadelphia Student Union is a supportive organization that is often described by students as a family. During our meetings and programs students learn many skills such as: public speaking, teamwork, leadership, writing, research, strategizing, and event planning. At each meeting we provide our members with food. Every member of the Philadelphia Student Union gets a Philly Student Union t-shirt.
PSU has our own youth run radio show online. Members who are interested in taking part in the show receive all of the training in interviewing and audio engineering they need to run the show.
Additionally, PSU members enjoy a fall and spring leadership retreat that takes place outside the city, as well as trips to conferences, and visits to other youth organizations.
6. How can I get involved?
If you’re a public school student in Philadelphia you can join the Philadelphia Student Union. It’s free to join. The only requirement is that you’re passionate about working with other students to become a leader who can improve schools. If you go to one of our chapter schools you can go to a chapter meeting. If your school doesn’t have a chapter come to a citywide Meeting. They are at our office from 4-6pm every Thursday during the school year. Call before to make sure we’re meeting: 215-253-4586
If you’re an adult, join our mailing list (fill out the form at the top on the right). We’ll email you once or twice a month with updates on our work and ways to get involved. If you’re interested in helping us fundraise, have a technical skill you want to share with our staff or students, or are interested in being on our board, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
7. I’m an adult, can I sit in on a meeting ?
Not usually. After a long day at school, having a youth only space is really important to us. We do have occasional open Saturday meetings and fundraising events. We also have large public actions where the support of adults is really important. Join our mailing list to stay up to date on the ways you can support our work.