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Davis, California

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Lobby Corps begins efforts for student advocacy

ASUCD’s Lobby Corps begins its fourth annual Lobby Month on April 25 to raise legislators’ awareness of student interests and concerns in Sacramento.

Lobby Corps launched its new Facebook group April 11. Students can write a letter to their senator on the Facebook group’s wall as part of the unit’s Student Letter Writing Campaign. The campaign aims to provide students with awareness of university and state budget problems and basic knowledge of the future of their education.

“This is their university,” said Aaron Giampietro, director of Lobby Corps. “[Students] feel that a lot of things are out of their control, and we want the students to know they have a right to fight for their tuition. In the end, students are voting citizens.”

Lobby Corps hopes the Facebook page will make students more aware of the happenings within the UC system. Events will be easily accessible to undergraduates.

“Facebook gets out to so many people so quickly,” said Bihter Ozedirne, external director of Lobby Corps. “It’s easy to quickly update students.”

Students’ letters will be a mix of facts and personal stories, Giampietro said. Letters will go out to the senators on Monday – a week before Lobby Month begins.

“Direct involvement is helpful, especially to be a part of a broader package,” said Colin Murphy, external chair of the Graduate Student Association and a leader in advocacy efforts. “Letter writing encourages and achieves the emotional side.”

This year, Lobby Corps is supporting five bills that aim to make the UC system more transparent and financially responsible. Currently, Lobby Corps is drafting a resolution to be voted on by the ASUCD Senate.

The month-long event revolves around meeting with as many legislative offices as possible and lobbying for bills that are beneficial for higher education in California.

Throughout the year, Lobby Corps researches legislation to find bills that represent student concerns. Giampietro said that Lobby Corps always tries to stay positive with its approach to higher education issues.

Lobby Corps is operating on a budget of $28,577 this year. A portion of its funds goes toward a contract research firm for developing materials. Funding for Lobby Corps does not go toward lobbying itself – the unit trains several volunteer lobbyers.

Giampietro encourages students to join Lobby Corps’ efforts. For more information, meetings are held Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. at the ASUCD conference room on the third floor of the Memorial Union.

ALICIA KINDRED can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.


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