OSLA prepares for spring quarter events

Mendoza, Atwell-Scrivner, and White - the OSLA team standing in front of the Capitol in Olympia. Photo courtesy of OSLA

Although sessions in Washington’s capital have slowed down, OSLA here at BC never stops working for its students and better education. OSLA’s (Office of Student Legislative Affairs) main focus is speaking at rallies, organizing town hall meetings, even trips to Olympia in order to have student voices heard in legislative affairs.

Most recently, on Feb. 1 ten BC students traveled down to Olympia to engage in the 2012 Community and Technical College Student Legislative Rally, embodying their slogan, “Spoken on campus, heard in the capital.”

The students joined with other colleges to protest the recent cuts to higher education. More cuts equal rising costs of tuition and textbooks, as well as fewer student programs and classes.

The students who went to Olympia were able to talk to state representatives about the dilemmas they’re facing in higher education and ask them to fight for funding (for more information about this particular rally, go to thejibsheet.com and search for “OSLA rallies for education in Olympia”).

This is one example of what OSLA does on a regular basis. The Student Legislative Affairs office works hard to fight for higher education funding so that BC students are not forced to pay more than necessary for a college degree.

Now that the legislative session is coming to an end on March 8, OSLA will continue lobbying for students and higher education, but stay more local.

“We’re pretty much done with the rallies and town hall meetings. For the month of March, we have just a few things planned,” said Monica Mendoza, Organizing Director for OSLA.

As the session comes to a close, Jake Atwell-Scrivner, the Legislative Director for OSLA, will be returning to Bellevue College.

Part of the college’s funds goes to the director so that he can stay in the capital during the legislative session. Atwell-Scrivner lives in Olympia for the majority of winter quarter in order to have a professional lobbyist represent Bellevue College.

“We’ll be providing debriefs as to how well this legislative session went. An OSLA newsletter will be distributed around campus as well,” said Mendoza.

OSLA will also be hosting a voter registration event. The purpose of this event is to attract students who are eligible to vote that have not registered, and to encourage them to become more engaged in legislative affairs and register.

This event will “get people pumped up about primary elections!” said Mendoza. More information about this event will be released in a future issue as the information becomes available.

“In the month of April, our main focus will be College Civics Week. This is one of the largest events that OSLA hosts, and it’s going to be a week-long thing. College Civics Week will be from April 9-13, and we will have Secretary of State Sam Reed visit on April 10 from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. There’s going to be games, good [food], and entertainment involved. Keep your eyes out for this as we approach the dates,” said Mendoza.

During the ASG Elections, OSLA will host a booth and help oversee the ASG Elections table. In May, OSLA will begin to hire more students.