Ten Truman State students visited legislators at Jefferson City last Wednesday to lobby for Truman for Student Senate’s 13th annual Truman at the Capitol event.
Senior Hannah Overfelt, Student Senate External Affairs Chair said Senate sponsored this event to give students an opportunity to personally show legislators the “value added” aspect of Truman’s education and the Degree Qualifications Profile. Five student senators and five other students attended the trip, where they met with state legislators involved with higher education and appropriations.
“The goal is to have direct conversations with our legislators,” Overfelt said.
Overfelt said this is her second year planning the event, providing students an opportunity to see funding discussions and government at a statewide level.
Junior Damian Chavez has attended the annual lobbying trip for three years and said he got to speak with about four legislators.
“I think it’s important for Truman to have a consistent presence at the Capitol, especially these days with higher ed funding and the challenges we face as state,” he said.
Chavez said legislators were receptive to the message the students shared. Some legislators asked questions about Truman, the environment at the school and his personal experiences as a political science student, he said.
Having students represent the campus instead of just administration gives legislators a different perspective about Truman, Chavez said.
“[When] students come down, it
shows that our campus is engaged,” Chavez said. “They get to see who their policies affect because they affect my tuition [and] hear from our perspective what Truman offers — a unique experience.”
Chavez said more people should consider attending future lobbying days because policies made by the state legislature directly affect students.
Junior Aaron Malin, Student Association President, said it is more important than ever for students to lobby for Truman because of the funding formula legislation. Malin said that if the bill passed it would “destroy Truman as an institution.”