Legislative Fellow

Transparency
Produce evidence-based analysis about legislation

Advanced position

Legislative Fellows oversee analysis of proposed/previous legislation, handle legislative requests summitted by students, assist on research requests connected to the Legislative Branch, serve as in-house experts of the Student Senate, and manage complex analysis of ongoing Student Senate activities to make them transparent to the student body. Applicants must have a demonstrated expertise in Student Government, most likely through previous roles within the Student Government Association or the Torchlight Campus Policy Center. Applicants can expect to increase research skills through assisting on Research Branch projects, improve team and project management experience through reviewing projects from Legislative Analysts and Database Editors, and influence Torchlight content with their expertise, interests, and suggestions.


Primary Responsibilities

  • Compose in-depth Legislative Branch evaluations and impact assessments

  • Deliver Torchlight updates to Student Senate, either orally or written

  • Work with internal leadership to identify and inform campus issues

  • Assist the Director of Legislative Affairs in overseeing branch projects

 

Necessary Characteristics

  • Strong writing and critical thinking skills

  • Commitment to evidence-based analysis

  • Ability to work independently and oversee teams

  • Knowledgeable of current campus issues and student government procedure

Legislative Analyst

Transparency
Produce policy briefs for proposed legislation

Legislative Analysts oversee and check the Legislation Tracker maintained by Legislative Database Editors. They manage internal detailed records of legislation and supply fact-based analysis on proposed legislation to the Student Senate and general public. Legislative Analysts may be asked to evaluate conversation on legislation, either through attending Senate meetings or reading meeting minutes. They write and present Torchlight updates to the Legislative Branch, often with the guidance of a Fellow. Applicants can expect to further increase their knowledge of SGA and gain skills in project management and legislative analysis.

 

Primary Responsibilities

  • Oversee updates to the Legislative Database

  • Maintain internal records of pieces of legislation

  • Provide in-depth legislative briefs when required

  • Assist Legislative Fellows in any additional projects as needed

 

Necessary Characteristics

  • Oversee updates to the Legislative Database

  • Maintain internal records of pieces of legislation

  • Provide in-depth legislative briefs when required

  • Assist Legislative Fellows in any additional projects as needed

Legislative Database Editor

Transparency
Maintain the Legislation Database with bill progress and voting records

Legislative Database Editors maintain the administrative records that comprise the Senate Legislation Tracker. This position gives the incumbent firsthand experience with the legislative process of the Student Senate, and experience maintaining an accurate database of legislative records. On a weekly basis, Editors scrape information from Senate voting logs and committee minutes and update the status of legislation.

 

Primary Responsibilities

  • Creating data entries for new legislation and Senators

  • Recording voting records of Senators in committees and on the Senate floor

  • Following the process of legislation through committees and general floor votes

  • Accessing and archiving digital records of legislation and minutes

 

Necessary Characteristics

  • Accuracy and attention to detail in data entry

  • Willingness to become familiar with basic Senate procedure


Week-to-week Tasks

  • Weekly (and at the direction of leadership) checking the SGA senate website to find & enter new legislation, and update progress on current ones in committee minutes

  • When voting records are posted to the senate website, recording those votes in the database

Policy Analyst

Accountability
Objectively evaluate and recommend policies

Policy Analysts are responsible for gathering information about proposed, ongoing, and completed campus policies and composing fact-based analyses on those policies. The incumbent will communicate with Executive Branch officials to gather up-to-date information. They will work as part of a team to reach the highest standard possible of evidence-based policy analysis. Critical thinking and decision making skills are necessary in the subjective aspects of the position, namely, authoring constructive criticism of policy execution.

 

Primary Responsibilities

  • Providing accurate, timely analysis of proposed and completed campus policy

  • Communicating with Executive Branch officials regarding specific policies

  • Monitor and analyze evolving campus issues

  • Furnishing the Initiative Tracker Database in these specific ways:

    • Metrics - Assigning objective metrics to which policy execution will be evaluated

    • Grade - Assigning a letter grade to the execution of a policy

    • Grade Explanation - Justifying why a specific grade was given for an initiative

    • Recommended Improvements - Steps that the administration should take to achieve an “A” grade, or other further recommended improvements 

Necessary Characteristics

  • Strong writing and critical thinking abilities

  • Commitment to fact-based evaluation, even in areas of subjective judgement

Fact-Checker

Accountability
Investigate claims and produce fact-based background on issues

Fact-checkers are persistent, resourceful individuals who aren’t afraid to ask tough questions to Student Government officials. They initiate contact with elected and appointed officials and follow-up on those contacts in search of the truth. They value integrity of data and uphold the Center’s mission in seeking out strong evidence to base analysis on. The ideal candidate keeps careful notes of conversations with government members and reports to Program Analysts or other researchers who are depending on the fact-checker’s information.

 

Primary Responsibilities

  • Working collaboratively with Program Analysts to ensure all published materials are accurate and up to date

  • Frequent communication with Student Government officers, both written and face-to-face

  • Conducting background research for reports being written by Analysts and Fellows

Necessary Characteristics

  • Strong fact-finding and research skills

  • Ability to act in a professional and polite manner while seeking information that may be difficult to obtain

Research Fellow

Research
Author original research reports

Writing sample required

Research Fellows are the primary producers of research at Torchlight. They are responsible for one project at a time, overseen from start to finish. Projects may be requested by interest groups, or proactively initatied at the request of the Director of Research. Projects must contain a quantitative portion, so experience in writing for policy is recommended. Projects can be as complex or simple as the Fellow decides, ranging from simple data gathering and interpretation to advanced statistical methods.


An example of a research project is the Policy Brief authored for the FSU chapter of the NAACP on trends in enrollment by racial group.


Primary Responsibilities

  • Authoring an original research project pertinent to a current campus issue

  • Communicating with student interest groups about their requested research

Necessary Characteristics

  • A strong writing ability, evidenced by a writing sample

  • Ability to abide by deadlines set by the Director of Research or interest groups

Research Assistant

Research
Help Research Fellows conduct their duties

Research Assistants are assigned to Research Fellows and assist them in their work. They may be asked to find data online in databases, journals, and other sources, and download and process that data. They communicate with interest groups about their research requests and asist Fellows in presenting research to them.


Primary Responsibilities

  • Assist Research Fellows in their work
  • Searching for data online
  • Performing data cleaning and entry

Necessary Characteristics

  • Ability to complete work as part of a team, adhering to deadlines set by the Fellow and Director of Research

Media Content Coordinator

Operations

Oversee the Center's media output

The Media Content Coordinator leads the overall branding identity and design of the Center. The Coordinator produces, delegates the task of producing, and approves all social media and multimedia content. Working with multiple people from throughout the Center, from Branch Directors to Media Content Producers, the Coordinator ties our diverse outputs together to form a cohesive brand identity that engages our customer base.


Primary Responsibilities

  • Taking ownership and creative direction of the Instagram and Facebook page to engage our audience in aherence to a strong brand identity

  • Delegating the task of producing media content and revising & approving products

  • Communicating with media content producers to establish expectations and guidelines for smooth operations

Necessary Characteristics

  • An eye for design and creative ideas for user engagement

  • Proficiency with the Instagram and Facebook interfaces to learn analytics about content impact and usage

  • Proficiency with Canva, Adobe products, or any preferred content creator

  • Ability to delegate and follow up on tasks and work with multiple people in different branches to produce their content in a timely manner

Media Content Producer

Operations

Media Content Producers work under the Media Content Coodinator to create and publish output for publication on our Instagram, Facebook, and website. Content should be an accurate representation of the original output, condensed down into bite-sized social media posts for our customer base. 


Primary Responsibilities

  • At the direction of the Media Content Coordinator, creating social media posts based on any of our outputs

Necessary Characteristics

  • Proficiency with Canva, Adobe Illustrator, or any content creator of choice

  • Ability to accurately condense short and long outputs into eye-catching posts

  • Ability to complete projects in a rapid turnaround time, due to the time-sensitive nature of some outputs

Resident Senator

Consulting
As a sitting Senator, provide first-hand accounts of legislative actions

Open to sitting Senators only

Resident Senators currently serve as Student Senators and support Torchlight as consultants. They may review the content of Legislative Fellows, Analysts, and Database Editors to provide the nuanced perspective of a sitting Senator. They may also be asked to provide historical insight and recommendations to the Transparency Branch. They report directly to the Director of Legislative Affairs to ensure impartiality and may also be called upon to provide content recommendations to the Director using their internal knowledge of the Student Senate. Applicants can be expected to develop their critical thinking skills, editing capabilities, and help shape the student body’s understanding of the Student Government Association.


Primary Responsibilities

  • Providing advisory opinions to Legislative Fellows, Analysts, and Database Editors for on-going projects

  • Communicating vital details of on-going legislation and projects within the Student Senate to the Director of Legislative Affairs


Necessary Characteristics

  • Commitment to abide by Torchlight’s Conflict-of-Interest policy

  • High-level of commitment to and knowledge of the Student Senate and a desire to increase participation of the student body within the Student Government Association

Copy Editor

Operations
Uphold our editorial standards

Copy Editors uphold Torchlight's standards of style and grammar in our written output. They work with all members to proof and edit their content before final publication. These will be from short-form blurbs to full policy analyses. Experience or interest in student government is a plus, but not required. The outside perspective without student government experience is also a plus for this position. A demonstrated competency and passion for good, accurate writing is needed.


Primary Responsibilities

  • Proofread text and correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors

  • Ensure verification of factual correctness of information, such as dates and statistics

  • Check text for style, readability, and adherence to editorial policies

Necessary Characteristics

  • Writing skills: Copy editors must be able to help staff write clearly and with good logic, and ensure that content has correct punctuation, grammar, and syntax

  • Detail-orientation: A main task of the job is to make written work error-free, and to ensure that it matches the publication's required style

  • Detail-orientation: A main task of the job is to make written work error-free, and to ensure that it matches the publication's required style

  • Interpersonal skills: Good communication and interpersonal skills help editors communicate with tact and encouragement to writers

Logistics Coordinator

Operations
Provide administrative support

The Logistics Coordinator provides vital administrative support to the Branch Directors by setting up meetings after gathering availabilities, facilitating the recruitment & onboarding process, and keeping accurate records of team information. SGA experience is not required, but communication skills and timeliness is. The Logistics Coordinator will leave the position with extensive experience in managing a 20+ person team and overseeing onboardings and trainings.


Primary Responsibilities

  • Facilitating and keeping accurate, up-to-date records on peoples' progress through the interview, onboarding, and training process

  • Setting up properly-detailed Outlook Calendar meetings

  • Accepting applications and communicating with potential members to coordinate their interviews and onboarding process

  • Maintaining the roster of active members and their responsibilities

Necessary Characteristics

  • Attention to detail and the ability to juggle several tasks at once while maintaining the ability to follow-up on communication

  • Communication skills, maintaining professionalism while communicating with potential members