Annual Report 2016/20172018-07-13T21:10:26+00:00

Annual Report


The Cal State Student Association (CSSA) serves California State University (CSU) students, advocates for student interests, and engages students in public higher education policy making.

Table of Contents
Annual Report PDF


It is my pleasure to present to you the Cal State Student Association’s (CSSA) 2016-17 annual report. What an honor it has been to serve as the executive director alongside exceptional student leaders from across the 23-campus California State University system.

Now more than ever, student leaders play a critical role in ensuring that the best interests of students are being protected by policymakers at the systemwide, state, and federal level. In this report, you will observe the many ways that Cal State Student Association remained committed to its mission to empower CSU students, advocate for the diverse needs and interests of nearly 480,000 students, and engage college students in public higher education policymaking. Through our flagships programs and opportunities for student involvement, CSSA continued to ensure that the CSU student voice was front and center in systemwide, state, and federal conversations about student issues ranging from college affordability to undocumented student protections to food and housing insecurity.

The Cal State Student Association will continue to pursue opportunities that elevate and strengthen the student voice in higher education policymaking, ultimately for the purpose of improving the lives of CSU students. Thank you for your interest in the activities of CSSA and I hope that you will stay connected in the future.

In Service,

C. Rob Shorette II, Ph.D.

Board of Directors


Alex Dominguez
Alana Lim

Channel Islands

Michelle Noyes
Carla Mena


Michael Pratt
Brockayll Dumas

Dominguez Hills

Jordan Sylvestre
Justin Blakely

East Bay

Hendrix Erhahon
Courtney Miles


Tim Ryan
Connor Esraelian


Yanitza Berrios
Amanda Martinez


Jonah Platt

Long Beach

Marvin Flores
Dale Lendrum

Los Angeles

Kayla Stamps
Marcos Montes

Maritime Academy

Lawrence Northrop
Anthony Zoller

Monterey Bay

Lauren McClain
Nicholas Somes


Sevag Alexanian
Kenya Lopez


Uriah Sanders
Gabriel Smith


Patrick Dorsey
Travis Legault

San Bernardino

Alex Gutierrez
Amanda Monroy

San Diego

Jamie Miller
Dylan Colliflower

San Francisco

Shannon Deloso
Celia LoBuono Gonzalez

San José

Hector Perea Jr.
Juritzi Torrez-Mendoza

San Luis Obispo

Jana Colombini

San Marcos

Collin Bogie
Christopher Morales


Emily Hinton


Nicole Larsen
Noriel Mostajo

Executive Officers

David M. Lopez

CSU East Bay

Isabelle Franz

CSU Monterey Bay

Mia Kagianas

Vice President of Finance
CSU Sacramento

Ryan Brown

Vice President of Legislative Affairs
CSU Sacramento

Jorge Reyes Salinas

Vice President of University Affairs
CSU Northridge


C. Rob Shorette II, Ph.D.

Executive Director

Jared Giarrusso

Assistant Director of Government Relations

Brandon Tsubaki

Assistant Director of Student Engagement

Cecelia Koger

Sr. Manager of Administration & Finance

Chris Woolett

Communications & Marketing Specialist

Amparo Díaz

Government Relations Associate

Shati Parks

Administrative Assistant

State & Federal Advocacy

Keynote Address by Jessie Ryan from the Campaign for College Opportunity

CSSA hosted the 22nd annual California Higher Education Student Summit (CHESS), which brings together CSU students from across the state. Nearly 250 students participated in a full day of advocacy training followed by legislative meetings at the State Capitol. Takeaways from the 2-day conference included an inspirational keynote from Jessie Ryan, Executive Vice President of The Campaign for College Opportunity, and informative sessions that prepared students to become better advocates for public higher education. CSSA also awarded the 2016/2017 Student Advocacy of the Year award to Marcos Montes of Cal State LA for his outstanding service to students across the state. The conference concluded with a Leadership Reception on Monday evening where students, members of the state legislature, and CSU administrators gathered to celebrate CSSA Legislator of the Year, Assembly Member Shirley Weber.

CSSA Executive Officers present the Student Advocate of the Year Award to Marcos Montes of Cal State LA.
CSSA Executive Officers present the Legislator of the Year Award to Assembly Member Shirley Weber.

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More Photos


This year, in partnership with the California State University Office of Advocacy and State Relations, we created the #chooseCSU campaign. This campaign was designed to advocate to the state legislature and the governor to have them choose the CSU by fully funding the system’s budget request. Here are some of the ways the campaign was used:

CHESS Day of Advocacy

Legislative meetings were held at the end of our CHESS conference, where each campus met with their local legislators and presented #chooseCSU materials.

More Photos

Campus Day of Action

Across the state, campus events were promoted on social media, enabling students-at-large to tell their story of why they chose the CSU.

More Tweets

May Day of Advocacy

A systemwide day of advocacy was held were each campus sent two students to participate in over 30 targeted legislative meetings.

More Photos

It’s Time to #chooseCSU

 A “splash event” where CSSA and CSU staff gave #chooseCSU watches for legislators to wear on the Senate and Assembly floor

More Tweets

The outcome of the campaign was an additional $20 million in CSU budget funding, as well as $20 million in one-time funds to support the Graduation Initiative and efforts to support student hunger.

Civic Engagement

CSSA President, David M. Lopez, discussing civic engagment and voter registration.

As part of our commitment to engaging students in the democratic process, CSSA worked with CSU administrators to develop and implement a plan to increase student civic engagement, created and maintained an online toolkit for how to run an effective civic engagement campaign on campus, and partnered with community organization to ensure students had all the necessary information to civically engage through voting. To build on these efforts the CSSA Board of Directors elected three civic engagement officers to regionally support campus civic engagement activities.

Cal State Votes
Campus Campaign Toolkit

Legislative Bills

This year the legislature introduced nearly 200 higher education bills. These bills varied in scope from regional workforce development to addressing college hunger. CSSA took positions on several pieces of legislation impacting CSU students. Among these bills was CSSA co-sponsored legislation, AB 214 (Weber) Student Hunger, which improves access for low-income students to the CalFresh program. This bill was signed into law by Governor Brown. Below is a complete list of CSSA’s 2017 legislative portfolio.

AB 21

Education Without Fear of Deportation
Assembly Member Ash Kalra (AD 27)

AB 214

Addressing Student Hunger
Assembly Member Ash Kalra (AD 27)

AB 422

Protecting the CSU’s Doctor of Nursing Program
Assembly Member Joaquin Arambula (AD 31)

AB 490

Contributing to the CalGrant Program
Assembly Member Sharon Quirk-Silva (AD 65)

AB 957

Addressing Regional Workforce Demands
Assembly Member Marc Levine (AD 10)

AB 990

Supporting Off-Campus Housing Costs
Assembly Member Freddie Rodriguez (AD 52)

AB 1178

Informing Students About Their Student Loans
Assembly Member Ian Calderon (AD 57)

SB 54

CA Values Act
Senator Kevin De Leon (SD 24)

SB 68

Supporting “Non-Traditional” Pathways to College
Senator Ricardo Lara (SD 33)

Federal Advocacy

CSSA meets with Representative Eric Swalwell’s office in Washington DC.

September 13-14, 2016
During our first D.C. trip of the year, a group of CSSA staff and executive officers for two days of meetings. The first day included partnership meetings with higher education advocacy organizations, including: The Institute for College Access and Success, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Young Invincibles, National Campus Leadership Council, and the California Higher Education alumni “Back to College Night.”

The second day included meetings with congressional staffers for the offices of representatives Matsui, Hunter, Swalwell, and DeSaulnier, where CSSA advocated for the Pell grant program, HSI/AANAPISI support, FAFSA simplification, Campus Sexual Assault, and CSU Graduation Rates.

February 28-March 1, 2017
In response to the outcome of the national election, CSSA developed and executed an additional advocacy trip to our nation’s capital. Staff member Jared Giarrusso joined CSSA board members and executive leaders Justin Blakely, Jorge Reyes-Salinas, Sarah Bentley, and Amanda Martinez for two days of focused advocacy meetings on two issues: Pell grant support and the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Our group met with staff for the following offices: Representatives Issa, Knight, Denham, Cook, Pelosi, Correa, Lofgren, and Royce, and Congresswoman Susan Davi.

Student leaders with Representative Royce.
CSSA & UCSA Joint Advocacy

April 4-5, 2017
During our third D.C. trip, CSSA participated in the annual CSU Hill-Day, an opportunity for all CSU campus administrative leadership to advocate for the higher education issues affecting the CSU system. Our group included staff members Jared Giarrusso and Dr. Rob Shorette, and our executive officers, David Lopez, Isabelle Franz, Mia Kagianas, Jorge Reyes-Salinas, and Ryan Brown. We advocated again for primarily Pell grant and DACA.

We meet with Representatives Panetta, Cardenas, Calvert, Senators Harris and Feinstein, and with Congressman Ami Bera, where our advocacy remained focused on the Pell grant program and DACA.

June 28-29, 2017
During our final trip to D.C., CSSA partnered with the University of California Student Association, the State University of New York Student Association, and the City University of New York Student Association, for the first-annual joint student higher education advocacy day. Jared Giarrusso and President Maggie White joined the other student organizations to advocate for the Pell grant program and for DACA.

During the trip we met with the following offices; Senators Harris, Feinstein, Sanders, Schumer, Gillibrand, and Murray, as well as congressional leaders Pelosi, Davis, and Meng.

Systemwide Advocacy

CSU Board of Trustees Advocacy

Over the course of the year, CSSA advocates for students at the systemwide level by engaging in discourse with and educating the CSU Board of Trustees on pertinent student issues.  During the 2016-17 academic year, the CSSA President, David M. Lopez, leveraged his bi-monthly report to highlight important issues and needs of CSU students.  CSSA specifically advocated for the Board of Trustees to vote no on a tuition increase and illuminated the voices of students who would be impacted by the tuition increase.

CSSA President Reports

July 2016
September 2016
November 2016
January 2017
March 2017
May 2017

About the Board of Trustees

The California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees is the 25-member board that adopts regulations and policies governing the entire California State University system. Board committees have authority over educational policy, finance, campus planning, and facilities, among other areas impacting the 475,000 students of the CSU.

Learn More

Student Trustee Search

The California State University Board of Trustees consists of 25 members who adopt regulations and policies governing the CSU system. Two students trustees serve on staggered two-year terms — the first year as a non-voting member and the second year as a voting member.

Maggie White

Voting Student Trustee
CSU Stanisluas

Jorge Reyes Salinas

Non-Voting Student Trustee
CSU Northridge

In partnership with the CSU Associated Students presidents, CSSA recruits, interviews, and recommends two to five finalists to the Governor of the State of California.  From those finalists, the Governor’s office conducts interviews and appoints the student trustee.

Joining the 2016/2018 CSU Student Trustee Jorge Reyes Salinas, Emily Hinton of Sonoma State University was appointed by Governor Brown to serve as the 2017-2019 CSU Student Trustee. Hinton previously served as the Sonoma State Associated Students President and as a member of the CSSA Board of Directors.

Emily Hinton’s first Board of Trustees meeting after being apointed by Governor Brown.

Systemwide Committees

CSU systemwide committees bring together individuals from a variety of backgrounds to address issues impacting the CSU system and campuses. The CSU Office of the Chancellor provides an opportunity for students to serve on several of these committees for one- or two-year terms. Students serve as valuable members of the committee, providing their unique perspective and insights, ultimately impacting policies, practices, and procedures across the state.

Through an application process, CSSA recommends students to the Office of the Chancellor to be appointed as student representatives to the committees.

The following students were appointed to and served as members of systemwide committees for the 2016/2017 academic year.

Admission Advisory Council

Sakshi Walia (Fullerton)

General Education Advisory Committee

Sarah Bentley (San Diego)
Stachia Boykin (Fullerton)

Honorary Degrees Subcommittee of the Trustees’ Committee on Educational Policy

Mellissa Patton (San Bernardino)

Institute for Teaching & Learning Board

Alex Sanders (San Marcos)

Services to Students with Disabilities Advisory Committee

Michael Ratcliffe (East Bay)
Silvia Ortiz-Rosales (East Bay)

Services to Students with Disabilities Advisory Committee

Carla Martinez (Northridge)
Genesis Jara (Long Beach)
Louis Casillas Ramos (East Bay)

Student Health Services Advisory Committee

Christopher Morales (San Marcos)
Valerie Leal (Northridge)

Student Mental Health Services Advisory Committee

Joe Rivers (Monterey Bay)
Samantha Quiambao (East Bay)

Student Response System Review Committee

Silvia Ortiz-Rosales (East Bay)

Summer Arts Advisory Council

Jesse Espinoza (Northridge)
Matthew Katz (Northridge)

Transgender Policy Workgroup

Elizabeth Heim (Channel Islands)
M. Alex Bellenger (Long Beach)


The Greenovation Fund provides micro-grants to student-led, sustainability programs and initiatives at CSU campuses. Since its implementation in 2011, over $70,000 has been awarded to 45 projects including community gardens, bike share programs, and composting initiatives.

The following programs were awarded Greenovation Fund grants for the 2016/2017 academic year, totaling $15,000.

Campus Community Garden

CSU San Bernardino

Student Garden

CSU Sacramento

Composting Pilot Program

Sonoma State University

Composting Program

CSU Bakersfield

Battle of The Halls

CSU Maritime Academy

Water You Doing? Refill!

Fresno State University

Bike Rental Program

Sonoma State University

Year-End Financials

2017 Audit


View the Full Report

Student Involvement & Representation Fee (SIRF)

CSSA is funded by a $2 fee, assessed twice a year to all CSU students, called the Student Involvement & Representation Fee or SIRF.  SIRF revenues in 2016-17 increased from the prior year due to modest enrollment growth and changes to the fee collection policy. To learn more about SIRF, follow this link.

Annual Revenues 14-15 15-16* 16-17 16-17 growth Pre/Post SIRF Overall Growth
Total Revenues 647,584 1,583,993 1,669,437 5.39% 158%

*First year of SIRF

Learn More About SIRF

2017/2018 Budget

Every year, the finance committee and board of directors of the Cal State Student Association develop an operating budget to ensure that the use of CSSA financial resources is aligned with the mission and strategic goals of the organization.  As one of their final actions in the budget process each year, the board of directors approves the operating budget to provide direction and guidance for their successors and professional staff. Below is the 2017/2018 budget as approved by the 2016/2017 Board of Directors.

2017/2018 Budget

Cal State Student Association
2016/2017 Annual Report