Meet the ASOSU lobbyists: Isamar Chávez

Candalynn Johnson, Isamar Chávez and Eric George stand outside of the Longworth House Office Building in Washington D.C. The group met with a legislative aid for Rep. Earl Blumenauer on Wednesday to discuss issues around undocumented students’ rights and Pell Grants. 

Riley Youngman, Editor-in-Chief

Isamar Chávez

  • Pronouns: She, Her, Hers
  • Year: 4th
  • Major: Ethnic Studies, Pre-Education and a Minor in Peace Studies
  • Title: Leadership Liaison at the Women’s Center

Chávez is a first generation student and a daughter of immigrants. Her family came here from Mexico when recruited by agriculture industries during the 1980s. They received citizenship through the 1986 Immigration reform control act.

Chávez said that if anyone would have told her parents that their daughter would be going to D.C. to lobby congressmen on behalf of students, she doesn’t know if they would believe them.

“My family is really proud of me and it’s an honor to be engaged in this process in order to help people are are living in fear,” Chávez said. “I’ve always wanted to see the Martin Luther King. Jr statues and walk around the Washington Monument.

Because of her background, Chávez is most passionate about issues around immigration, education, mass incarceration and income inequality. She wants to use the lobby trip as a way to further her involvement with the work around these causes.

“Some of my interests in the lobby trip encompass seeing how the nation works internally with their constituents,” Chávez said. “I have never been to D.C before and as first generation college student who started off at Chemeketa Community College, I would have never dreamed of going to the Capital of the Nation and talk around issues around pell grant protections, undocumented immigrant rights and sexual assault prevention.”

However, although Chávez has been politically active and engaged in her community, she does not see herself as a stereotypical activist.

“I don’t necessarily like to be called an activist because the word gets thrown around and often criminalizes people who question the status quo,” Chávez said. “However, I consider myself someone who is committed to the restoration of displaced communities so that all people are able to flourish and become important agents in their communities.”

Chávez has worked with middle schools in McMinnville, her hometown, and ran a dance team for young middle school girls that focused on helping them build leadership and commitment to their education and career aspirations. She has also worked with first generation migrant college students by being a writing tutor, and a Lego-Robotics mentor for fourth and 5th-grade students.

Chávez has also been involved with student government at OSU. After transferring last year, she worked under the ASOSU Executive Branch as the director of campus affairs. She focused on issues related to safety, livability and academic success.

“It was through this position that I met with many students and learned about what the university and the state, was or was not doing to help students achieve academic success,” Chávez said. “It was a great experience and privilege to have these opportunities and I feel like I have a responsibility to help people who may have barriers to get them from achieving success. “

Chávez hopes to take her experience in D.C. and apply it to her education and community engagement. At the end of the day, Chávez is energized by working to improve the lives of those around her.

“I am a really friendly person love to meet people and talk with them. It is for my deep caring and love for ordinary people that drive me to do the work I do,” Chávez said.

Chávez was on the sub-lobby team with Eric George and Candalynn Johnson.