The Bellevue College Office of Student Legislative Affairs is a student-led organization that represents students at Bellevue College “on a state level dealing with student organizing, tabling, phone banking, class raps, rallying, lobbying and networking,” and their main goal is to help keep students aware of current events in BC government and be “civically involved, as well as keeping the legislators aware of our needs.”
One of the biggest issues today is budget cuts towards higher education and the state’s failure to properly fund K-12 education. Tai Yang, policy coordinator of OSLA, said, “Once the legislative session begins, I can assure you OSLA will be fighting to secure a better future for not just students, but for the college and its brilliant faculty and staff.”
Volunteer students from the OSLA and Associated Student Government will be tabling across campus to distribute an ASG and OSLA Student Voice Survey. The purpose of the survey is to collect ideas and opinions from the student body and help the student government know what the students like and didn’t like from last years’ campaign and what they want and don’t want for the coming year.
“We’re not student government because we’re students, we’re student government because we do what the students want,” said Teague Crenshaw, Vice President of External Legislative Affairs, the survey “will help us to gauge campus concerns and set our legislative priority,” said Yang. Like last year, the survey this year will be distributed both online and through paper, along with the charts. The OSLA would like to emphasize that the survey is for all students and that they would really like students’ input before they build a student legislative agenda for this year. Their goal this year is to have at least 800 surveys collected up through next week.
The OSLA would like to emphasize how important it is for students’ voice, opinions and needs be heard at the state legislature and would like students to not only take the survey but also encourage their classmates to do so as well. “We need students to tell us what to do, and we need your help to raise the student’s collective voice,” said Yang.
In the Student Voice Survey, participants are asked to rate the importance of concerns that affect all college students such as “affordable and healthy food options for all students,” “transportation needs including buses and parking,” “affordable housing” and “affordable textbook options.”
Through the years, organizations like the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges and BC school administration have worked to ensure the students of Bellevue College have an empowered voice in the government. The ASG, OSLA, and their partners Washington Student Association and Washington Community of Technical Colleges Student Associated have all worked to “provide vital tools, training, access and resources which enable the students to have a knowledgeable empowered voice in local, regional and state level policy – as well as connecting the voices of over 600,000 other students to our student efforts to advocate for affordable tuition and textbooks along with a variety of student concerns.”