In today’s society, whether in the United States or in other nations, governmental politics has a big effect on our lives. And for several decades, dating back to the inception of political parties in America, politicians have been the people who make those decisions, with their constituents’ interests and concerns in mind.
Unfortunately, that is not the way politics has worked for the most part and still does work in some situations today. Politicians are sometimes influenced by people who do not always represent the interests or concerns of their constituents.
So when I found out the Golden State Action, a political committee that will supposedly lobby government officials and endorse candidates who will appeal to the interests of students in the California State University system was formed, it was, in a sense, disappointing to hear.
When students form a group to lobby government officials to represent their interestes, it speaks to a larger problem: that students realize they do not have any influence on state government and feel their needs are not being met.
The CSU already has a lobbyist who is supposed to represent our interests and concerns, and hopefully, that person is doing so.
Then we have the California State Student Association, which represents the interests of CSU students with a member on the Board of Trustees.
And now we have another committee.
It is good in another sense. It is good because we are playing at the level of other people who lobby government officials to pass legislation. And as a result, our voices will be heard in a better way.
But the negative side is that students see the reality of not having much say in the political world. We should not have to go out of our way to lobby officials to represent our interest in concerns.
Furthermore, raising money to help support CSU-supporting candidates is not good. Do we not already have people in the state Legislature who are supposed to try to help out the CSU?
As one of the largest university systems in the United States, and with growth in enrollment, the CSU system is an institution that politicians in the California Legislature should try harder to serve.
It seems as though this is happening to a certain degree, especially with the $125 million student fee freeze that was proposed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. If it is approved by the legislature, it shows there are some issues politicians want to help the CSY with.
The Compact of Higher Education, signed by Chancellor Charles Reed and the UC and CSU systems, also shows that politicians in the state government are showing some effort to address issues and interests.
But obviously, since this committee was formed, students are still concerned and still in need. They have to essentially become lobbyists to have a voice. I regret that things had to come to this, but I hope that now our voices as CSU students will at least be heard.
Samuel Richard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.