A.S. support for higher ed. earns trip to Washington

    The Associated Students at UCSD recently won a free registration waiver worth $170 to a national conference in Washington, D.C., because the A.S. Council reported that the student government had collected 2,000 signed postcards advocating the Higher Education Act’s reauthorization by the U.S. Congress, a United States Student Association official said.

    Ten student delegates from UCSD will be attending the USSA-hosted National Grassroots Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., to deliver the signed postcard petitions, discuss current legislative issues concerning education with other delegates and attend lectures delivered by guest speakers.

    According to USSA Organizing Director Portia Pedro, the national student lobby group offered free registration waivers to schools that had either collected the highest total number of signed postcards, had the highest signed postcard-to-student population ratio or had the most creative collection campaign.

    Pedro said that while UCSD finished first in the contests for best postcard-to-student ratio and for the most total postcards, it would only receive one free waiver and the University of Wisconsin at Madison, which placed second in the same contests, would receive the other.

    UCSD won the contest by reporting that it had accumulated 2,000 postcards by the Feb. 21 deadline, Pedro said. However, A.S. Council President Jenn Brown said that the number UCSD reported to the USSA was actually the A.S. Council’s goal. Brown said that she is not sure as to how many postcards ASUCSD actually collected by the deadline.

    “”The postcards are all over campus right now,”” Brown said. “”I really don’t know how many we have right now.””

    Pedro stated that the reporting of postcard collection figures was “”pretty much on the honor system.”” She also said that if a school won the contest by reporting a false number of postcards, it would not make a big difference to the organization.

    “”I would have to talk to them about [reporting a false number],”” Pedro said. “”It wouldn’t be something that would be punitive in any way. The contest was pretty much a motivational thing to get people to collect postcards before the conference. There wouldn’t be a punishment or anything.””

    UCSD delegates will be visiting classrooms and tabling on Library Walk next week to collect more signed postcards, Brown said.

    Expenses for the trip, which include airfare and lodging accommodations, as well as the conference registration fees for nine delegates, will be incurred by the A.S. general fund.

    Schools registering for the conference, which will be held from March 7 to March 11, were asked to follow a “”suggested diversity guideline”” composed by USSA. For a school with a student population between 20,501 and 30,500 students, such as UCSD, the guidelines suggest that the school’s delegation consists of 10 people — four women, one of which is of color; two persons of color; one “”queer of color;”” and one student who is either not of a typical college age, disabled, a veteran or international.

    Brown said she tried to adhere to the guidelines’ suggestion.

    “”Like any rule, we follow it,”” she said.

    The UCSD delegation will consist of Brown, Commissioner of Communications Navneet Grewal, Nam Bui, Shereena Turner, Christopher Sweeten, Harish Nandagopal, Rigoberto Marquez, Georgia Kellog, Daniel Gonzales and Nina Kapoor. A delegation leader, who will have the opportunity to schedule a meeting with a congressional representative on National Student Lobby Day, will be chosen on Feb. 28, Brown said.

    Gonzales, a Revelle College freshman, has been taking the postcards to his classes to get signatures. He said he is excited for the upcoming conference.

    “”The conference will be a chance for us to discuss student issues with people across the country, a goal for us to get UCSD thinking in a national way,”” Gonzales said.

    Brown said that USSA board members that sit on the A.S. Council selected the delegates for the conference after reviewing applications from interested members. Selection was based on the involvement in the “”H.E.A.R. Students! Access Now!”” campaign and other issues, she said.

    The “”H.E.A.R. Students! Access Now”” campaign was launched by USSA to advocate the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1965, which has historically been reauthorized every five to six years. The HEA is a federal law that has established student financial aid, graduate assistance and programs for recruitment and retention of college students. USSA is looking to promote changes to the law, including the repeal of the 1998 reauthorization that bars students convicted of “”possession or sale of a controlled substance”” from receiving federal financial aid.

    More to Discover
    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $200
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal

    Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $200
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal