Originally Posted by wigflip
I like cara's idea. Even if the current White House petition threshold represents half of all psychologists, would those signing necessarily have to be restricted to psychologists (as opposed to prospective psychologists, academic allies, concerned others)? For example, one could probably attract solidarity signatures from allies by cross-posting links at various postacademic blogs/scamblogs, academic listserves (beyond the discipline of psych).
Change.org gathers a huge number of signatures in a short amount of time, often by constructing a narrative focusing on one individual who's been "wronged" by some unfair policy/system ("So-and-so attended Prestigious U, authored 12 papers, and still couldn't graduate because of the internship debacle"). Many laypeople think of psychology primarily in terms of "helping" and "compassion"--highlighting that Deserving Individual X is being thwarted in her/his pursuit of a career dedicated to "helping others" by an unfair system might be one compelling narrative for a petition aimed at gathering signatures beyond current members of the profession.
I'd not thought about that, good ideas! If signatures are being sought outside of psychology then the petition would have to be re-written to use less guild language and to make it clear it's open to everyone, is a public health concern, etc.
The idea of exemplar victims of the imbalance is great! It would be really easy, unfortunately, to find such examples, and I think it's likely that many, though upset, will want to talk about their situations. Your point also indicates a weakness in the petition as currently written that I can fix (currently it might suggest that folks who don't match are weaker applicants, rather than emphasize that a glut in the system pushes out many qualified applicants). This would require some rewriting/clarifying to not give mixed messages about the problem (problem schools versus qualified applicants not getting in).
If this doesn't pick up until match day that's fine, more time to revise and improve the petition to avoid the criticisms last year's got.
And, join the FB group and encourage colleagues to join so that non-SDNers can get in on the process. http://www.facebook.com/groups/223654767715768/