Fall 2015 Newsletter
View this email in your browser

CSSA 2015/2016 Policy Agenda

At its September plenary, the CSSA Board of Directors adopted its 2015/16 Policy Agenda, outlining legislative and university affairs policy priorities for the academic year. The annual policy agenda is a critical tool in establishing a vision and plan for student leaders to address salient higher education issues during their term in office. Following three months of discussion and deliberation, the board of directors identified five primary goal areas:  (1) ensuring a greater impact on the CSU student experience (2) increasing student participation and involvement in decision-making (3) fostering inclusive, safe, and healthy campus environments (4) promoting and improving best practices in the CSU, and (5) expanding advocacy efforts in the state and nationally.

View CSSA Policy Agenda

Legislative Update

State Update
The final months and weeks of the 2015 legislative session proved busy and exciting for CSSA. After several months of planning and implementing the second year of the #StandwithCSU campaign with our partners in the CSU and the Academic Senate, the final 2015/16 state budget included an additional $97 million dollars for the CSU – its first fully funded state budget in nearly ten years. This investment from the state means that the CSU can grow enrollment by 3%, or 10,00 FTES, rather than 1%, amplify its student success initiatives to improve retention and graduation rates, and invest in the system’s critical maintenance needs. We are already working with CSU stakeholders to develop the 2016 #StandwithCSU budget advocacy campaign and look forward to working with the legislature and Governor to once again prioritize state funding for CSU students.
We are happy to report that CSSA’s 2015 sponsored bill, AB 798 by Assembly Member Susan Bonilla, successfully passed out of the legislature and is now on Governor Brown’s desk awaiting his signature. AB 798 creates the Open Education Resources (OER) Incentive Fund that will provide grants to campuses whose faculty want to integrate OER into their classes. Grant proposals will be created by the campus academic senates, in consultation with the campus administration and student leadership, and awards range from $10,000 to $50,000 depending on how many courses are included in the proposal. In order for a course to qualify, there would need to be a cost savings in course materials of at least 30% due to the use of OER. CSSA looks forward to working the Academic Senate CSU to promote the OER Incentive Fund.  A special thank you to the CSU community for their support, including the CSU Office of Advocacy and State Relations and the Academic Senate CSU. In addition, this bill would not have been successful without the incredible work of Assembly Member Bonilla’s staff member, Dr. Sarah Brady.

CSSA president Taylor Herren bumped into Speaker Toni Atkins during a visit to the Assembly Floor with Assembly Member Marc Steinorth

Federal Update
This past week, CSSA president Taylor Herren and VP of Legislative Affairs Edgar Garcia headed east to advocate on several federal higher education issues in Washington, D.C. During meetings with members of the California Congressional delegation, including Representatives Mark Takano and Jeff Denham, they discussed financial aid simplification, Pell grant support, and HSI/ANNAPISI program investments, among others. In addition to Congressional offices, CSSA met with higher education nonprofits that work on issues ranging from student debt to campuses sexual assault to mental health. Finally, Taylor and Edgar also attended the annual Back to College Night, hosted by the California State Society, which brings together California university alumni now living in the DC area. It is a great opportunity for CSSA leadership to meet both CSU and CSSA alumni and we appreciate the continued invitation from Aaron Moore, CSU Director of Advancement and Executive Director of the Alumni Council, and the CSU Office of Federal Relations.

CSSA leaders with Congressman Mark Takano of Riverside, CA

Connecting with our wonderful partners at the National Campus Leadership Council (left & right) and Young Invincibles (center)

CSSA alumnus and current White House staffer Joe Banez with CSSA President Taylor Herren at the annual Back to College Night in Washington, D.C.

Greenovation Grant
Accepting 2016 Proposals
The Greenovation Fund is a grant program funded by CSSA that empowers students to lead and implement sustainability related events, programs, initiatives, and projects on their CSU campuses. Established in 2011, the Greenovation program has funded 42 sustainability projects amounting to $43,000 in grants. Highlights from 2015 student initiatives include a campus food vendor sustainability training, living food pantry, and a reusable food container program for residence dining halls.  Applications for 2016 proposals are due November 23, 2015 by 5pm.
More Information
Student Involvement & Representation Fee

Outreach Update
As students return to campuses for the fall 2015 term, CSSA is monitoring the implementation of the newly established Student Involvement & Representation Fee (SIRF) and focusing efforts on marketing and communication to students and other campus stakeholders. In collaboration with Associated Students organizations, CSSA is supporting the dissemination of marketing material, responses to student inquiries, and publication of FAQ sheets by campus financial services officers. Most recently, the CSSA Board of Directors created a new Ad Hoc Committee on Marketing, with the primary purpose of monitoring student communications relative to SIRF and revising outreach efforts in the current and subsequent academic years.
View SIRF Toolkit

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Fall 2015 Newsletter