Public Affairs

New Leadership by CSU Students, for CSU Students

By Erik Fallis
July 23, 2010

CSSA Leaders Six executives will provide guidance and oversight for the California State Student Association (CSSA), a non-profit auxiliary organization that represents more than 430,000 students in the nation's largest public university system – the California State University (CSU). The newly elected leaders officially assumed their roles during CSSA's annual transition conference in July.

2010-2011 CSSA Executive Officers

  • President Chris Chavez (CSU Long Beach, Political Science)
  • Chair Bridgette Dussan (Sonoma State, Political Science)
  • VP of Legislative Affairs Greg Washington (CSU Fullerton, Political Science and Communications)
  • VP of University Affairs Emily Switzer (San Francisco State, International Relations)
  • VP of Finance Mohammed Shahid Beig (CSU East Bay, Business Administration)
  • Multicultural Caucus Speaker Aissa Canchola (CSU Fullerton, Sociology and American Studies

The student executives are profiled, in their own words, on CSU Voices and Views.

"Students in the CSU system have a powerful impact on their communities, in California and in the world," said Chavez. "It is a privilege to serve as the voice for these students and to represent their interests to policymakers."

CSSA is the statewide student association governed by a board of directors composed of the officially recognized representatives of each of the 23 CSU campuses. CSSA employs full-time professional staff, with offices in Long Beach and Sacramento. The organization carries out activities such as advocating for students at the university and state level, providing information to the campus student governments, registering voters, and advancing public awareness of key issues affecting the CSU.

The new leaders are following one of the most challenging and productive years in CSSA's more than 50-year history. Under the leadership of 2009-2010 President Steve Dixon (profiled on CSU Voices and Views) and Chair Zoë Carter, CSSA expanded it partnerships with University of California and California Community College students to exert constant pressure on Sacramento to restore public higher education funding. Activities included the March for Higher Education and the launch of the Made in the CSU campaign.

The new CSSA executives will face many of the same challenges this year as their predecessors, including a persistent deficit in the state budget. These students have committed to continue building partnerships within and outside the CSU, and keeping the pressure on Sacramento to fully fund public higher education.