CSSA sponsors and advocates for and against bills in the legislature on behalf of CSU students. The organization’s legislative affairs committee reviews, researches and makes recommendations to the CSSA Board of Directors on pertinent higher education legislation from the state and federal governments.

California Higher Education Student Summit


About the CHESS Conference

The California Higher Education Student Summit, currently in its twenty-fifth year, is an annual conference hosted by the Cal State Student Association that empowers students to become change agents in advocating for an accessible, affordable, and quality system of public higher education for all Californians. During a two-day conference held in the state capital, students participate in various training sessions on state governance, higher education and public policy, and conducting successful lobby visits in preparation for Advocacy Day at the Capitol.

College Involvement & Values Impacting Communities



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.


Bill positions are approved by the CSSA Board of Directors



CSSA maintains a federal relations program in order to affect federal policies that impact California State University (CSU) students. This program includes regular advocacy trips to Washington, D.C., where students meet with elected officials and higher education stakeholders about pressing higher education issues and provide a valuable CSU student perspective.

1972: Student Presidents Association sponsors successful legislation authorizing the expenditure of student body fees to fund a lobbyist for CSU students (Ed Code § 89300). This is why CSSA is able to employ a director of government relations.

1974: Student leaders successfully advocate students’ interests to the legislature and university administration, setting the foundation of student leadership that exists today.

1975: Student Presidents Association successfully passes legislation to place the first student trustee on the CSU Board of Trustees. The legislation also recognized the student association’s role in nominating the student trustee to the Governor.

1987: Sponsored bill to repeal state law penalizing student financial aid in response to protests

1975-1979: Repeatedly killed an annual tuition bill intended for CSU students

1989-1990: Effectively lobbied the governor to change student fee increase from 10% to 3.6%

1992: Sponsored AB 3294, allowing fee installment plans for public university students

2000-2006: Participated in national student effort to change credit-card marketing practices on public college campuses

2007: Sponsored AB 2813, raising the Cal Grant age eligibility from 24 to 27 years of age.

2012: CSSA joins efforts with UCSA to successfully pass AB 970, The Working Families Student Fee Transparency and Accountability Act.