Newswise — Monday, April 5 kicked off a week of virtual visits between California State University leaders and federal legislators for CSU District Week. Chancellor Joseph I. Castro convened a virtual meeting Monday morning to rally trustees, campus presidents, faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends. 

During the meeting, Chancellor Castro reinforced key messages for the delegations to convey to legislators during meetings throughout the week including the need for legislative action to protect and support Dreamers, as well as the provision of a clear pathway to citizenship and access to federal aid, and advocating to double the maximum Pell Grant and reinstate the annual cost-of-living increase. 

“It’s only with the support of our federal leaders that we can fully realize our potential as a force for healing, recovery, prosperity and understanding for our students, their families and their communities—and as a powerful driver of our state’s and nation’s recovery and sustained economic vitality,” said Dr. Castro. 

Additionally, delegates were encouraged to take the opportunity to express gratitude and appreciation for the significant COVID-19 relief the CSU and its students have received from the federal government.

Chancellor Castro highlighted some of the ways campuses have used the relief funds to support student achievement, such as helping students bridge the digital divide with new laptops and wireless hotspots, expanding basic needs outreach and providing hundreds of thousands of hours in professional development for faculty and staff to ensure they were equipped to provide a robust teaching and learning experience.

The CSU delegation also welcomed special guest U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona for a Q&A session, during which he addressed federal priorities for the Biden administration and stressed the importance of providing support and guidance for underrepresented and first-generation students, especially coming out of a pandemic. 

“Higher education is the greatest investment to end cycles of poverty,” said Dr. Cardona. “We are in a unique postion to make better opportunities for our learners and I'm excited about partnering with CSU to make sure we get it right.” 

Throughout the week, CSU representatives will meet with federal legislators and staff members to advocate on behalf of the university, including a joint meeting with staff from the offices of U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla. 

To learn more about the CSU’s federal priorities for the 2021-22 academic year, visit the Federal Relations website​.