State Senator Luz Robles chats with Manuel Alvarado, a criminal justice student, after she counseled students to be involved and get educated.

State Senator Luz Robles touted the importance of higher education and being involved during a forum in Wildcat Theater Tuesday.

“Obviously, there is direct correlation between education and salaries,” Robles said after her speech. “That has a direct impact on local and even national economies.”

Robles represents Senate District One, which is comprised of the west side of Salt Lake City and part of West Valley City. She immigrated from Mexico City to the United States at an early age.

After the forum, a luncheon was held in which students were able to get to know Robles to a greater extent and talk with Robles about the specifics of her address. WSU senior Manuel Alvarado snagged an interview with Robles after the luncheon.

“(Robles) talked a lot about immigration, which is important to me and my family,” Alvarado said. “She is very motivational and now I want to do something about it.”

Tuesday’s forum, part of the semi-annual Education Equals Power Speaker Series and part of the Hispanic Heritage Month, was geared to get students motivated and educated in governmental and political issues, Alvarado said.

“Sometimes individuals who are part of a minority group are afraid to get involved in politics,” Robles said. “It is so important—right now—that these people rise to the challenge and make a difference in their communities.”

Robles was a key player in Utah’s guest worker program, HB 116, and also helped pass regarding the Children’s Health Insurance Program and other Medicaid services from which many Utahns benefit.

“The fact that we had a state senator come and talk to Weber State students is a big deal,” said Martha Camarillo, WSU senior and psychology major.

Camarillo, who is the government relations director with the WSU Student Association, stated that in the coming semester another well-known government official will visit WSU.

“This is the first year that we’ve had a government relations director and we’re hoping to get more people—both students and politicians—involved with the Education Equals Power Speaker Series,” Camarillo said. “We’ve been in contact with Senator Mike Lee’s office; hopefully we’ll have him speak to us next semester.”

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