Perspectives: A United Alumni Force
by Eugene Hamilton (for Friends of SVSU)
A lot can be said of the power of a strong group with a common bond when it comes to legislative advocacy. Now, possibly more than ever, SVSU needs a united alumni force that will help the University--protect it, fight for it, and make it even better.
As one of fifteen state supported universities, SVSU has enjoyed the financial support of the state government. The support has come primarily in two ways: annual appropriations for operations, and funding for capital outlay, or construction, projects. Because the state's Higher Education budget provides funding for fourteen other universities, SVSU must make a case each year for its fair share of those dollars. As we all too well know, the support for state universities has significantly lessened over the past several years. This suggests a heightened and urgent need for SVSU to create and strengthen its relationships with the decision makers in Lansing. And that is where you as alumni come in.
Think about it. SVSU has alumni in virtually every district in the state. Our political decision makers need to hear from you, individually and collectively. Communicating SVSU support priorities can be done through emails, letters, by attending legislative events and even by joining SVSU's Office of Government Relations at lobbying events in Lansing or at public relations events on campus. Alumni can also help serve the SVSU cause through support of its "Friends of SVSU" political action committee (PAC).
The Friends of SVSU PAC was formed almost twenty years ago, and it has made an impact. In recent years, SVSU was the recipient of favorable attention in the appropriations process, and the construction boom on campus did not just come about because it was needed. Both happened because of good friends in Lansing, like former representative James E. O'Neill Jr. and former senators Jon Cisky, Mike Goshcka and Joel Gougeon.
Today, we continue to rely on our legislative friends in Lansing, including two of our nearly 30,000 alumni: Jim Barcia, '75; and John Espinoza, '02. Whether on your own, or through the Friends of SVSU PAC, make your message heard. Our alumni can make a big difference.
It is encouraging to see new PAC contributions no matter at what level. To make a contribution to "Friends of SVSU" send a check payable to "Friends of SVSU" to PAC, 4651 Wall Street, Saginaw, MI 48638.
Again, "Happy Holidays". I hope to see you around SVSU or in the community.
Eugene J. Hamilton
(for the "Friends of SVSU")