CSU Voices and Views

Defending the California Dream

By Erik Fallis
CSU Public Affairs

During the 16th California Higher Education Student Summit, the student leaders of all 23 CSU campuses joined forces in Sacramento to defend a California dream that is “Made in the CSU.”  The California State Student Association offered two days of preparation and training, on April 16 and 17, during which time students learned to lobby the legislature as well as developed leadership skills and knowledge of statewide issues.

After developing their skills, student advocates went to the capitol on April 18 to meet with legislative staff.  The students carried a message for their 412,000 peers: that higher education is a critical investment for the future of the state and that CSU students will defend that investment.

This message comes at a critical time.  The CSU faces $500 million in cuts with the prospects of even deeper cuts if the state fails to secure additional revenues.  Such deep cuts have dire consequences for the entire CSU community, especially current and future students.

Below are a few images from CHESS XVI:

The CHESS XVI Planning Committee, a.k.a. dream team, including from left to right: Miles Nevin (CSSA Executive Director), Kevin Starks (San José State), Michael Quibuyen (CSU Long Beach), Elizabeth Bingham (CSU Channel Islands), Aaron Guerrero (Humboldt State), Olgalilia Hernandez (CSSA Director of Government Relations), Jasmine Gray (CSU Dominguez Hills) and Committee Chair Daniel Galvan (Cal Poly SLO)

The CHESS XVI Planning Committee, a.k.a. dream team, including from left to right: Miles Nevin (CSSA Executive Director), Kevin Starks (San José State), Michael Quibuyen (CSU Long Beach), Elizabeth Bingham (CSU Channel Islands), Aaron Guerrero (Humboldt State), Olgalilia Ramírez (CSSA Director of Government Relations), Jasmine Gray (CSU Dominguez Hills) and Committee Chair Daniel Galvan (Cal Poly SLO)

More than 270 CSU students (and one dolphin) at CHESS join hands on in solidarity with students of the community colleges

More than 270 CSU students (and one dolphin) at CHESS join hands in solidarity with students of the community colleges

Speaking of dolphins, the CSU Channel Islands group put in a huge showing at CHESS, from a large and spirit-award-winning student delegation to an inspirational keynote address by CI Student Affairs Vice President Wm. Gregory Sawyer

Speaking of dolphins, the CSU Channel Islands group put in a huge showing at CHESS, from a large and spirit-award-winning student delegation to an inspirational keynote address by CI Student Affairs Vice President Wm. Gregory Sawyer

Christopher Prado of CSU East Bay meets with Delores Huerta – a seminal figure in labor, civil and women's rights – before she takes the stage to commend the students for what they have done and focus them for future action

Christopher Prado of CSU East Bay meets with Dolores Huerta – a seminal figure in labor, civil and women's rights – before she takes the stage to commend the students for what they have done and focus them for future action

Pedro Ramirez (front), Fresno State ASI president and CSSA student advocate of the year, recounted the most life-changing year of his life – a year that took him from Sacramento to Washington in pursuit of the dream of educational access for undocumented students.  Standing in support of Ramirez are CHESS XVI Chair Daniel Galvan (left), CSSA Chair Bridgette Dussan and CSSA President Chris Chavez (right)

Pedro Ramirez (front), Fresno State ASI president and CSSA student advocate of the year, recounted the most life-changing year of his life – a year that took him from Sacramento to Washington in pursuit of the dream of educational access for undocumented students. Standing in support of Ramirez are CHESS XVI Chair Daniel Galvan (left), CSSA Chair Bridgette Dussan and CSSA President Chris Chavez (right)

Standing below the iconic dome of the capitol, CSU Long Beach students James Ahumada (left), Nehemias Ochoa, Stephen Thomas, Ojaala Ahmad, Jon Salgado (right) and Roxanna Gracia (front) draw inspiration as they urge legislators to demonstrate support for students and invest in the future of California

Standing below the iconic dome of the capitol, CSU Long Beach students James Ahumada (left), Nehemias Ochoa, Stephen Thomas, Ojaala Ahmad, Jon Salgado (right) and Roxanna Gracia (front) draw inspiration as they urge legislators to demonstrate support for students and invest in the future of California

CSU Fullerton students Elizabeth Shipley (left), Tina Tran and Ginny Cheung (right) hold firm on their arguments in favor of adequate funding for education during a meeting with a staff member for a Republican leader of the newly formed ''Taxpayers Caucus''

CSU Fullerton students Elizabeth Shipley (left), Tina Tran and Ginny Cheung (right) hold firm on their arguments in favor of adequate funding for education during a meeting with a staff member for a Republican leader of the newly formed ''Taxpayers Caucus''

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2 Comments to “Defending the California Dream”

  1. Miles, Staff  Says:

    Great job, Erik. And thanks for joining us at CHESS.

  2. C. Newbold, Alumnus from East Bay, Says:

    Wow! What a great report on superb actions!! Keep it moving! I’m proud to see you doing it with the zest of my era, 10 years ago! :)

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