It was exciting to hear that on Monday, Advocacy Day, your student government took a band of 45 students down to the Capitol to lobby on your behalf.
After coffee and introductions, the morning started with greetings from legislative delegates from Fort Collins and Pueblo, followed by observation of debate on the House and Senate floors and Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia’s report on the state of higher education.
Then from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., the collection of students –– from CSU-Pueblo and Fort Collins –– set out to find legislators to whom they could advocate on behalf of CSU and the prolonged life and success of higher education.
But rather than send small groups of people to scheduled, intimate meetings with our politicians, the Associated Students of CSU –– from three to 20 strong at a time –– rushed the Capitol, carrying lists of assigned contacts.
Hunting during the politicians’ lunch hour, the collective group had upward of “two-minute” conversations with an estimated 30, according to ASCSU Legislative Affairs Director Matt Strauch, who said the goal wasn’t to have “multiple hour-long” talks.
Thousands of hours of debate and infinite brain cells have gone into the sculpting and bronzing of higher education’s future only to build the shattered, hollowed budget that sustains it.
To protect what little life is left, our student government representatives need to multiply and strengthen their efforts on Capitol Hill. The appropriate tactic here is not to ambush the people who pull the strings for one day but rather, make monthly trips consisting of lengthy, more pointed conversations.
Sure it’s great to show our legislators that literal swarms of students care, but add to that agenda, ASCSU, a more calculated, organized approach that consists of true advocacy for the CSU we know you love.