By Andrew Doran
While CI students were out enjoying spring break, representatives from Student Government were looking out for the best interests of the students on campus. Six representatives from CI went to the state capital in Sacramento to lobby for university issues. They were joined by all the other CSUs in order to discuss issues with the state assembly and senators.
This conference, the California Higher Education Student Summit (CHESS), is an annual event that takes place at the state capital. All 23 CSU schools, who are a part of the California State Student Association (CSSA), band together to create a larger coalition for their voice to be heard.
Atticus Reyes, Student Government President, was one of the attendees to represent CIs student body.
“It is extremely important to attend these summits and share stories and concerns of our students,” said Reyes. “Legislators will often only do what is needed if they can feel the pressure from their constituents. By attending CHESS and speaking to these legislators, we were able to put faces to stories, and make genuine connections with the legislators.”
CI made it a priority to attend CHESS this year because the main focus the conference was centered around financial aid reform. This issue is important to a majority of students because many rely on financial aid to attend school.
“Because of the way the Cal Grant is set up, not only do we have thousands of California students who qualify for the grant not receiving it, but even those who do receive it are not receiving enough funds.” said Reyes. “The grant only centers around tuition and not cost of living and is extremely important to our students.”
CI representatives met with State Assembly members Jacqui Irwin, who’s district covers Ventura County, and Monica Limon, who’s district covers both Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. In addition, representatives also met with State Senators Hannah-Beth Jackson and Henry Sterns, whose districts also cover Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
Reyes also iterated that all students of CI could feel positive about representatives from Student Government representing them in Sacramento.
“CI students can hope to see real change when we share their voices, their stories and their concerns at CHESS,” said Reyes. “CHESS has the opportunity to bring actual change to the state of California.”