California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    Politically minded students help shape public policy in Sacramento

    California Lutheran University class of 2013 alumnus Matthew Hamlett hosted an information session on Jan. 27 in Nygreen Hall to discuss the Capital Fellows Programs, a series of internships that offers college students the chance to serve as full-time staff members at the state capital.

    The CFP consists of four internships, each serving different offices including the executive, legislative and judicial branches as well as the Senate.

    โ€œFellows,โ€ students who participate in the CFP, work for 10 to 11 months at the state capital in Sacramento and also enroll as graduate students at Sacramento State University.

    Along with working for various members of government, fellows attend weekly graduate seminars with academic advisers provided by SSU and receive graduate units.

    Capital Fellows receive health, vision and dental benefits, a $1,972 monthly stipend and student loan deferments. Enrollment fees are also paid for by the program, according to the CFP website.

    Hamlett is currently part of the Jesse M. Unruh Assembly Fellowship Program that allows students to work as full-time professional staff for members of the assembly.

    โ€œThis is not your typical internship. They really throw you into the fire. Youโ€™re not answering phones, youโ€™re really helping to shape public policy,โ€ Hamlett said.

    Hamlett currently assists Assembly member Shirley Weber, who has a doctorate in speech communication and represents cities including Chula Vista and San Diego in the areas of health and human services, according to

    A typical day for Hamlett includes meetings with Weber to discuss tasks and topics of the week, meeting with lobbyists and attending receptions to meet politicians working at the state capital.

    Students with a bachelorโ€™s degree in any major who have demonstrated an interest in state government and public service are qualified to apply for the CFP, according to its website.

    โ€œThe program seems like a great way to get some real experience. Being a college student, Iโ€™m trying to get as much of that as I can so I can find out what I want to do,โ€ said Chase Morris, a sophomore business major.

    Jose Marichal, who has a doctorate in political science and is a political science professor, believes the CFP is a great opportunity for students in any major because experience in politics is educational in many ways.

    โ€œLetโ€™s say you want to start a business, itโ€™s really good to know how the state of California does regulatory policy, how they make policies that could affect your business,โ€ Marichal said.

    The deadline to apply for the 2014-2015 CFP is Feb. 10. More information about CFP can be found at

    Monica Linares
    Staff Writer
    Published Feb. 5, 2013