The goal of College Involvement and Values Impacting Communities, or CIVIC, is to increase student participation in the work done by the Legislative Affairs Committee, to elevate student voices. With more engagement and momentum directed towards both state and federal issues, addressing the issues all CSU students face will only become that much easier.
In establishing the competition, each campus has a specific teammate, and legislators that are assigned to them. For CIVIC, or any other CSSA activities, your legislator assignments are the members you are responsible for engaging with. Throughout the year you will be able to collect and log points for CIVIC activities – including Surprise Challenges that will be emailed out periodically.
FIX FINANCIAL AID
November 13, 2019
CALL TO ACTION
CSSA’s sponsored legislation, AB 710 (Cervantes) – the Housing Cost of Attendance Act, is currently scheduled to be heard in Senate Appropriations Committee on August 12th. While the bill currently has no formal opposition, we have been made aware that several of the institutions are telling members on the committee that they are concerned about the cost. That’s where you all come in!
For each person on your campus that fills out and submits this Call to Action, you will earn 10 points. So for example, if you get 10 people to fill it out you would earn 100 points.
Good luck everyone!
National Voter Registration Day
September 24th, 2019 is National Voter Registration Day and even though the primaries are not until March, the beginning of the school year is a critical time to get students registered. So, it’s time for a surprise challenge!
The Secretary of State’s Office has created an online voter registration link that is specific to college students in California. Here is the link: registertovote.ca.gov/?t=s
Unlike the standard link on the front page of the Secretary of State’s website, the link above allows you to select the campus that you are attending on page 3 of the form. This is important for several reasons. First, students who use this link and select your campus will automatically count towards the official number that the Secretary of State presents to the legislature each year – a practice mandated by state law. If your representative sees there weren’t any students registered on your campus, they will be less motivated to act in your favor. Second, this will be the same link used for the Ballot Bowl prior to the General Election.
For 200 points, you may either:
- Table or hold an event on campus to help register students through the link on Sept. 24th
- Have the link posted on your campus and/or ASI website, and advertise it (through emails, flyers, etc.)
- Do both and receive double points!
In the spirit of Legislative Affairs Committee’s favorite holiday, start encouraging your campuses to use the link above, make sure everyone you know is registered!
Halloween Surprise Challenge!
On Thursday, October 31, you can gain CIVIC points by hosting a voter registration event or posting on social media to bring awareness!
You may use the following link to register your constituents to vote. This link is specific from the Secretary of State for the legislature to track the amount of students registered per campus. Make sure to remind your students to select their respective campus in one of the drop down tabs. https://registertovote.ca.gov/?t=s
Some themed messaging that you can implement:
- What’s more ‘spooky’ than not being registered to vote?
- Remember the ghoul times? Vote!
- Don’t be a scary cat, vote!
- Time for a coffin break, let’s vote!
- CAUTION! Voter Passing!
- Carve out some good times! (maybe hand out pumpkins)
- Vote at your own risk.
- Did someone say voting?
- Trick or Vote
There are many themes that your creative team can think of! These are some simple ideas! Contact your Civic Engagement Officer if you have any questions, or need help figuring out a theme for your campus!
Challenge is worth 10pts
Fix Financial Aid Challenge!
The CSU reports that over 60% of undergraduates have their tuition fully covered by financial aid and yet those students are still graduating with an average of $15,000 of debt, only $2,000 below what students without financial aid report. On top of that, 65% of the students who borrowed in the CSU come from families with total incomes of $27,000 or less. With statistics like these, it’s no wonder that 41.6% of CSU students are food insecure and 10.9% have experienced homelessness. All of this tells us that the current financial aid model, that typically does not cover non-tuition costs, is broken and failing today’s students.
This is why CSSA worked with the University of California Student Association and the Student Senate of California Community Colleges to establish the Fix Financial Aid campaign last year. Together we came up with four priorities that we believed would benefit students the most:
- Accounts for the total cost of attendance at all California colleges and universities, not just the price of tuition.
- Expands access to the Cal Grant so that the hundreds of thousands of students that are currently being turned away, despite financially and academically qualifying, may receive one.
- Creating a Summer Cal Grant so that if a student wants to try and graduate quicker by taking summer courses they can receive aid.
- Addresses the basic needs crisis across all segments and invests in targeted programs that colleges can utilize to help students immediately.
While we made huge strides in creating awareness on this issue, key legislation to address the problem stalled. Despite that, the authors of that legislation (AB 1314 and SB 291) and the Chairs of the Senate Education and Assembly Higher Education Committees have reaffirmed their commitment to this issue and plan on moving ahead this upcoming session.
With that said, it is important that we work to ensure that the student voice is at the forefront of these conversations throughout the entire year. So, it’s time for a Surprise Challenge!
Each of your campuses are responsible for a specific set of legislators – which can be found in your CIVIC binders. For each of those legislators that your campus meets with during the month of November to advocate for financial aid reform, you will receive 250 points. You will get points if you meet with the member or staff, so long as you take a photo (even at a minimum outside of their office) and use the #FixFinancialAid hashtag. If you would like to meet with a legislator that another campus is responsible for, you need to check in with that campus first. Talking points and a leave behind have been emailed to those subscribed to the CIVIC listserv!
A more comprehensive Financial Aid Advocacy training will be presented at the CSUN plenary on November 16th, 2019! If you have any questions or concerns feel free to reach out to either Grace or Mary. Good luck!
2019/2018 CIVIC Campaign Teams
Humboldt, Maritime and Sonoma
Chico and Long Beach
Channel Islands and Sacramento
Fresno and Stanislaus
Fullerton and San Francisco
Dominguez Hills and East Bay
Bakersfield and San Jose
Monterey and San Luis Obispo
Los Angeles and Northridge
Pomona and San Bernardino
San Diego and San Marcos
2018/2019 CIVIC WINNERS
2018/2019 CIVIC CHAMPIONS
Channel Islands & Sacramento
Most District Office Visits
Most Capitol Visits
Most Social Media Engagement
Most Collaboration with Other Organizations
Most On-Campus Events
Frequently Asked Questions
How are the legislator assignments and teams established?
All of the campuses are responsible for 3-6 legislators, and each team is responsible for 10-12. We wanted to ensure that when we have advocacy days that each campus has a manageable number of legislators that they are responsible for meeting with. We paired a campus with their legislators based on proximity, alumni status, or previous work experience. Campuses who share a representative were partnered together, and the remaining campuses were matched with their partner so that each team’s number of assigned legislators was nearly equal.
Am I only allowed to meet or interact with my legislators? What if our campus officials meet with other members?
The legislators that you are assigned are the ones that you – at a minimum – are responsible for interacting with throughout the year, and meeting with during advocacy visits. Some campuses may already have pre-existing relationships with certain members and CIVIC does not prevent you from engaging with them. For events like CHESS or the Spring Advocacy Day, if you want to meet with a member that is not assigned to you, you need to first check in with the campus that is responsible. This prevents schedulers receiving multiple requests from the same organization.
What are Surprise Challenges?
Every once in a while, emails will be sent out with a surprise CIVIC challenge. These challenges are not already on your activity list, and are typically worth more points. Prior examples include holding an election day event, or phone banking for one of our bills.
Make sure to read through all of your CSSA emails, because these challenges will frequently be hidden at the bottom!
Can activities be completed more than once?
Yes, most of them! For activities that correspond to one particular day or event – such as CHESS or Election Day – you won’t be able to repeat them, but you should be completing others multiple times.
Do I need to submit proof?
No, but we should still be able to verify that you completed an activity.
Can you log my points?
Nope! But we can answer any questions or concerns you may have.
How do I send a meeting request or invite a legislator to an event?
When you’re looking to schedule a meeting or visit with a legislator and staff, you have the option to either call the office or send an email to their scheduler – whose contact information is in your campus’ Legislative Assignments document.
Whether on the phone or in an email, there are a few key things you will always need to include in your ask. These are:
- Who you are and what organization you are with.
- Whether you are looking to meet with the member or staff.
- The date you would like to meet or of the event you are inviting them too. If you have a specific time frame, include that information.
- A short description of what the event is, or what you would like to discuss.
- If you are trying to set a meeting – let them know if you’ll be bringing along other people.
- If you are inviting them to an event – include the number of people you believe will also be in attendance, and if there are any specific roles you’d like them to play.
- For example, if you’d like them to speak to a room of students, make sure you include that information.
- Thank them for their time and make sure they have your contact information.
Scheduling requests can take weeks to be reviewed for legislative offices, so plan accordingly and be prepared to follow up with the office.
How do I sign up for public comment at Board of Trustees?
In order to speak at public comment, you must sign up by the Friday before the meeting. To do so, email the Trustee Secretariat at [email protected] or call (562) 951-4949, and ask for time during the committee in which they will be discussing the item you would like to comment on. You can also call or email to leave a public comment to be included in their packets if you cannot attend in person.
What do I need to include in a social media post?
For the activities that require a post on social media, you must:
- Tag the elected official or their office
- Tag @csustudents on Instagram and Twitter, or Cal State Student Association – CSSA on Facebook
- Use the hashtag #CSSACIVIC
What if I’m not sure what to discuss in a meeting with a legislator or campus official?
Email [email protected]! Mary can help provide background information, resources, and even talking points – just make sure to reach out in advance.