Advocacy by Alan Nguyen

Alan Nguyen is a student assistant in Transportation Solutions, a department within Associated Students, SJSU. In this latest Spartan Voice by A.S. Blog, Alan shares his story on Advocacy, one of eight Core Values in the Associated Students Strategic Plan. Read more about our organization’s values in the A.S. Strategic Plan here

“I have always had a strong passion for public transportation. It started when I was little and has continued throughout my teenage and adult years.”

For my generation, advocacy is an essential form of public engagement. It allows us to voice our opinions and to influence people and our leaders for the betterment of society. I guess I inherited the same interest from my grandfather who moved from Vietnam to the US in the early 1900s. He took various forms of public transportation across the San Francisco Bay Area, including VTA and BART, to travel to Oakland and San Francisco during his free time. His visits to the city reminded him of his younger days in Vietnam, where he worked as a civil engineer building public transportation infrastructure in various cities across the country.

“I highly encourage every Spartan to take sustainable forms of transportation…”

I currently work as a student assistant in Transportation Solutions (T.S.) department. Before joining T.S. in Fall 2021, I never had any prior experience working for a department that advocates for alternative transportation. I highly encourage every Spartan to take sustainable forms of transportation rather than driving their own vehicles. They’ll help reduce parking demand on campus and ultimately help fight climate change. We need to significantly reduce all carbon emissions, including what’s produced by a massive number of cars on the road.

My job has been fulfilling because I have developed a more robust understanding of how the 27 public transit agencies in the Bay Area work. Additionally, I have helped my fellow Spartans by providing trip plans, contributing to multiple transportation projects, organizing outreach events, and more. Working at T.S. is an amazing opportunity for me to network with like-minded individuals who share the same passion when advocating for environmental sustainability.

“I act as a liaison on behalf of my fellow Spartans.”

My goal is to go above and beyond what’s expected in my role. For example, my manager recommended me to get involved in outreach events with Seamless Bay Area, a non-profit organization that aims to reinvent and transform our fragmented public transit by building a diverse movement for change and promoting policy reform. This can result in a unified, world-class, equitable, and widely-used Bay Area transit system. I act as a liaison on behalf of my fellow Spartans by attending public meetings, voicing my concerns as a frequent public transit user, and pushing for a better transit system that is streamlined and affordable for students.

“Together, we can build a better Bay Area!”

We all have an important role in society: the need to address the seriousness of climate change and what we can do to help mitigate this for future generations now calls on our spirit of advocacy! Together, we can build a better Bay Area and ultimately, a better world, by becoming more informed, getting involved, acting, and influencing people around us. I want to continue using my passion for public transportation and the environment as a means of becoming an everyday role model for my fellow Spartans!

To contact Alan Nguyen and the T.S. team and to learn more about programs, events, and services:

Transportation Solutions
Diaz Compean Student Union, 1st Floor, Suite 1800
In-Person Office Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Tel: (408)924-6242; e-mail: transportation@sjsu.edu
Instagram and Twitter: @ts_sjsu
ts.sjsu.edu