ASI ‘Advocacy Day’ to allow CSUF student lobbying

In Campus News, News

CORRECTION: This article was updated at 11:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 20.   ASI Chief Communications Officer Laila Dadabhoy was quoted saying “faculty hasn’t seen a pay increase in more than five years.” However, faculty did receive a general salary increase of 10.5 percent over a three-year period in an agreement between the CSU system and the California Faculty Association ratified in May 2016, according to the CFA.

Various CSUF clubs will have the chance to lobby for legislative votes Wednesday concerning matters on campus, such as a proposed increase in the budget to avoid higher tuition.

“Sometimes, students don’t realize that they do have power to change things and they’re not politically engaged. They think it doesn’t affect them and they don’t know how to necessarily engage with the legislators or people that represent them.

They think they don’t care or they’re not going to listen to them,” said ASI Chief Governmental Officer Amanda Martinez.

Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) will host the “Advocacy Day” event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the central Quad.

While several issues will be discussed at “Advocacy Day,” the potential tuition increase is at the forefront. If it goes into effect, next year’s undergraduates will have to pay up to $270 more per year, graduates will pay up to $438 and nonresidents will pay up to $396.

“Currently, we have one of the lowest tuitions in the state of California,” said ASI Chief Communications Officer Laila Dadabhoy. “The reality is that our campus is not meeting a lot of expectations.”

This is what brought the board of trustees to discuss the possibility of a tuition increase, Dadabhoy said.

“ASI has taken an official stance against (the tuition increase),” Dadabhoy said. “They are working with other on-campus groups to help students protest against it.”

The topic of advocacy came in response to rallies that took place on campus Jan. 31. Students for Quality Education (SQE), ASI and faculty members joined together to inform students about the tuition increase and the recent executive orders, which may affect CSUF’s undocumented students, Martinez said.

The board of trustees will be voting on the budget March 21. ASI hopes that “Advocacy Day” will properly inform students about the vote in order to take action, Martinez said.

ASI banded with Dream Co-Op, the voice and supporters of CSUF’s undocumented students, to have a day on campus where students are informed about issues and encouraged to voice their opinions to legislators through letters and tweets, Martinez said.

Other clubs focused on students’ rights will be in attendance, including SQE and the Cultural Center, Martinez said.

“Each table will have an issue or legislation,” Martinez said.

Martinez plans to make it simple. Fact sheets of the issues will be distributed, as well as postcards already filled out to legislators for students to complete with their personal message.

“The state legislator is responsible for upholding the promise they made in the California Master Plan, which is what created the CSU. In that, it says college is supposed to be affordable, accessible and have quality, yet all of those things promised in the 1960s are not in fruition today,” Martinez said.

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