by Claudia Mata
My experience at the ASOSU Office of Advocacy has been a good one, I can’t believe more than 2 months can pass by so quickly. What sparked my interest in this internship was that it focused on students and advocating for their student rights. I had been contemplating in going to Law School after graduating from OSU and thought this internship would be a great opportunity for me to get more insight on the field by exposing myself to a similar environment. No less did I believe Patricia Lacy would be a good resource and mentor for me based on her experience and education as a juris doctor. I was grateful that she considered me for this internship position and gave me the opportunity to be part of many learning experiences.
Throughout the internship I had the opportunity to sit in on appointments and take notes with Patricia Lacy and her student clients where she served as a policy advisor to those students that had a dispute within the university. I found this part very interesting and enjoyed following up on cases that initiated at the beginning of my internship. This also allowed me to familiarize myself with the school policies and procedures taken to resolve a dispute. Since the beginning I knew that a big part of this internship was confidentiality, in order to have the clients trust us to help them with their dispute it was important that each procedure taken to handle the case be done with discretion, never doing something the client wouldn’t consent to. In addition to helping with conflicts, researching and providing general assistance to students, I worked on other projects. One of the projects included giving a presentation at the 4-H International Camp to Hispanic/Latino High School students on Obama’s Deferred Action Immigration Policy. This was a way to practice community outreach to those students closely affected by this policy by informing them on what the policy is and what it is not so there is no misunderstanding and they could also inform others accurately. I also learned and did research on the differences of how law enforcement handles situations of Minor in Possession (MIP) and Marijuana possession by getting in contact with people that knew about local ordinances. I also got in contact with Financial Aid to determine whether these citations would affect getting financial aid. Other projects included being part of a resource video on the Office of Advocacy done by the Office of the Student Dean of Life, creating an ASOSU Constitutional and Statutory Timeline and being part of a service project at the Trilliums Children’s Home where the other interns of the office and I restored the landscape of the property.
I was delighted to have worked alongside Patricia Lacy and have been welcomed by the other interns in the office, Adriana Sandoval, Stephanie Castaño, and Haley Jones. I got the opportunity to collaborate with them on the creation of a new brochure for the office and a poster to promote the office to the new 2012 students in the resident halls.
I have learned so much throughout the internship being in the office and participating in the PROMISE events. I have worked on my communication skills by the flow of communication that the current interns already had where they stayed in constant communication with each other regarding different projects and the progress of each of their work. In the PROMISE events I have received information regarding graduate school, professional poster and portfolio creation, as well as ways on how to manage stress and exemplifying my strengths. All this aspects of the internship are a great tool toward my future endeavors after finishing here at OSU.
I can’t thank enough all the support I have received from Patricia Lacy and the interns at the ASOSU Office of Advocacy. I will take with me many laughs, growing experiences, and friendships. One thing that this internship has allowed me to do is extend my network of people who have experience and knowledge on different aspects of the university from the ASOSU Executive Staff, Student Legal Services, University Ombuds, and other important affiliates that help support the Office of Advocacy in its goal to create equality between the student and the university.