Cal Lutheran students meet with state senators to defend the Cal Grant


Photo contributed by Office of Jacqui Irwin

Future leaders coming together: Cal Lutheran students meet with Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin during their trip to Sacramento.

Jasmine Perez, Reporter

California Lutheran University students met with senators in Sacramento, California to champion the Cal Grant program as part of the first Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities Advocacy Program, on Tuesday, Feb. 25. 

AICCU is a non-profit organization that has been around for 65 years, helping students receive higher education. AICCU research, the ICCU institution, advocates higher education and helps students find affordable educational opportunities at community colleges, private and public universities. 

Leslie Madrigal, senior criminal justice and Spanish double major, and ethnic studies minor, attended the AICCU event. Madrigal said Vice President of Enrollment Management and Marketing Matt Ward invited her to go. 

Applying for their advocacy program, Madrigal had to write an essay about what she thought were the top three issues that students face in higher education. 

“So I wrote about food insecurity, counseling and psychological services,” Madrigal said.

Madrigal said she and the eight other students from Cal Lutheran were picked for different reasons, and that she got to meet with Senator Henry Stern who represents District 27 on the trip.

Stephanie Figueroa, a senior communication major and multimedia minor, said it was really empowering seeing all the students expressing and telling their stories, and give that personal touch of why the Cal Grant is needed.

“A statistic that we learned [at the event] was like one third of Cal Lutheran recipients receive Cal Grants,” Figueroa said. “So I think the reason why we went is because State Senators and Congress probably think ‘oh it’s a private school people can afford it,’ but that’s not necessarily the case. People come from different economic and socio backgrounds.”