ASOSU Lobby Team arrives in Washington D.C.

Lobby Trip Graphic

Riley Youngman, Editor-in-Chief

EDITOR’S NOTE: As the Associated Students of Oregon State University Lobby Team heads to Washington D.C., the Barometer’s own Riley Youngman will accompany them on their trip to report on their efforts. Throughout the week, he will provide on-the-ground coverage of lobby meetings, testimonials from the team, profiles and more.

By the time most students at Oregon State University awoke Tuesday morning and began preparing for class, a small group of students were making their way across the country. Their destination? Washington D.C. Their goal? To lobby Oregon Senators and Representatives on issues pertaining to the college life.

This year’s annual Associated Students of Oregon State University Lobby Trip began yesterday. Nine student lobbyists and two student advisers left Corvallis in the early morning and spent most of the day traveling to the nation’s capitol.

Senior Jacqueline Logsdon, the ASOSU assistant director of government relations, was responsible for most of the planning for the Lobby Trip. She began preparations in January.

Applications to attend the trip opened in February, and the lobby team was selected and finalized by the end of the month. According to Logsdon, over 30 people applied.

“We wanted to find applicants who were eager to gain something from the experience, and were eager to apply it beyond just this trip, looking ahead to the future,” Logsdon said.

After the nine-person lobby team was finalized, the group immediately began to get to work preparing for their trip. Weekly meetings starting before spring break allowed the team to discuss the issues that they wanted to discuss with the legislators in Washington.

Having spent the last month preparing for the trip together, the group is excited to finally be on the ground in D.C.

“I admire the work that this group of students has put into making this trip impactful,” Logsdon said. “Everyone has contributed so much and I think they are such a good representation of what OSU is and what students truly care about.”

For Isamar Chávez, a senior in ethnic studies and pre-education, this opportunity is more than just a chance to visit D.C. Having never been to the capitol, both Chávez and those close to her understand the meaningfulness the lobbying efforts hold.

“I am really grateful to be participating in this trip. This trip means a lot to me and the people I care about including family, friends, colleagues and teachers,” Chávez said. 

Brett Morgan, the ASOSU vice president and an OSU Board of Trustees member, is joining the trip in an advising capacity. Having gone on an ASOSU lobby trip two years ago, Morgan brings experience and passion for student activism to the group.

“My role is to serve as an advisor and give help and tips to both the leaders of this trip as well as the participants of this trip,” Morgan said. “I want to make sure every student on this trip has the tools necessary to be as successful as possible.”

Graduate student Jeffrey Baxter is serving as the faculty adviser for the trip as well.

This year’s lobby team consists of students ranging from their second to fifth years. Logsdon and Candalynn Johnson, the ASOSU executive director of government relations, have both been to D.C. to lobby before, in addition to Morgan. 

Because Johnson has had prior experience lobbying, her aim this year was to help her fellow teammates with their efforts.

“My goal (for this trip) was to help others organize around issues they are passionate about and taking a step back to let them lead our lobbying spaces,” Johnson said. “Because I ended up meeting with the same representatives as last year I wanted to give others the chance to facilitate the meetings.”

Yesterday’s topic of discussion among the lobby group; a pineapples place on pizza. Today’s? Sexual assault prevention on college campuses, protecting the Pell Grant and protection for Dreamers.

Lobby efforts for the group kick off Wednesday with a meeting with the United States Student Association. They will then split up and meet with various legislators, including Oregon Senator Ron Wyden.

Though the group is small, they hope to have a large impact.

“While students don’t have money to influence policymakers, or have flashy titles with big companies, we have our stories and our voice,” Morgan said. “Each student has a unique perspective and set of experiences that have a real impact on legislators.”

For continued coverage of the ASOSU Lobby Trip, including recaps of the team’s efforts, profiles of the lobbyists, pictures and video, as well as behind-the-scenes looks, stay connected at DailyBarometer.com, the Barometer’s Facebook and Twitter pages as well as through the #ASOSUtakesDC hashtag on social media.