Christian Arciniega, the architect of House Bill 1052
Published: June 12, 2015
Raising two kids during her husband’s third deployment to the Middle East, pursuing higher education, and inspiring House Bill 1052 is all in a day’s work for UW Bothell’s Christian Arciniega.
Arciniega (IAS ’15), graduates with a double major in Media and Communication and Global Studies. Her determination to influence House Bill 1052 came after deciding not to let her husband’s deployment interrupt her education. With no family in Washington State, Arciniega often found it challenging to balance the busy schedules of her children, her classes, and the emotional stresses that come with deployment. Arciniega took advantage of the excellent support services offered at UW Bothell, including faculty office hours, support from Veterans Services, and the Counseling Center. However, she saw an opportunity to improve the educational experience for a group of students with a unique set of circumstances like her – military spouses and domestic partners.
“I cut my credit hours back to try and lesson the stress. I ended up attending summer quarter classes so that I could still complete on time, but this factored in an extra quarter that the VA did not allot funding for,” Arciniega explains. “I felt that something had to be done and my only recourse was to pursue a state law. House Bill 1052 would require institutions of higher education to afford priority registration to spouses and domestic partners who receive VA education benefits. ”
Arciniega dedicated nearly a year to the process, even recruiting the help of Representative Dan Kristiansen. On April 17, 2015 Arciniega and her family celebrated the passing of House Bill 1052 at the state capital. She says she was thrilled to watch her 7-year old daughter tell Governor Inslee about her latest reading book, while her 13-year old daughter became inspired to become a legislative page next fall.
“I made an impact at the state level and I'm a non-traditional, first generation student with an interrupted education who is finally graduating,” says Arciniega. “I beat the odds against me. How amazing is that?!” The journey to completing her degree was a challenging one, but Arciniega did what many UW Bothell students do. She persevered and found a way to leave a legacy for those coming behind her.
For more information about House Bill 1052 Click Here.