Most students feel like they are just idle bystanders as the cost for higher education continues to rise in the state of Virginia.
From expensive textbooks to overcrowded classrooms, many students can think of ways that their education could be improved but they don’t always act on those thoughts.
There are a select few who aren’t going to stand idly by, and they are in Richmond today to lobby to the General Assembly. They will focus on the idea that Virginia Tech meets many of the states goals regarding higher education and should be considered for more funding from the state.
Hokie Day is put together annually by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Office of Government Relations and the Student Government Association. SGA’s Director of Government Affairs, Erica Wood, has helped plan the event over the course of the past semester.
During this session, more than 100 Tech students will be on the floor of the General Assembly to follow up on the 2012 event that saw almost 170 students participate in the annual Hokie Day. This day allows students to become more familiar with issues that are important to the university and at the state level.
Wood's academic advisor informed Brenda Padilla, a junior International Studies major, of Hokie Day.
“He told me about it, and I also got it on the list-serv for my major … I thought it was pretty interesting and applied,” Padilla said. “I hope to get a valuable interaction with the delegate and senator for my district as well as to make a positive impact on some kind of legislation proposals.”
Students are encouraged to be friendly and familiar with the issues and numbers, but to rely on personal stories and anecdotes that may impact their legislators. Each student schedules a meeting with their representatives and senators in the weeks prior to Hokie Day, to ensure adequate face time with the person who represents their district.
Yesterday,Tech students took a bus from campus to Richmond where they were welcomed by a reception hosted by the Richmond Alumni Association Chapter. After the welcome reception, students have an opportunity to explore Richmond, keeping in mind that they had an early 7:30 a.m. wake up call this morning. They will continue networking and speaking with legislators throughout the day before returning to Blacksburg.
Brownwyn Foley, a sophomore HNFE major, attended Hokie Day last year as well.
“Hokie Day helps me live out Tech's motto of Ut Prosim. I believe as a student, it is my job to help represent the university to our state government. I also hope to gain more insight into the state legislative process, as well as how funds are allocated to state institutions,” Foley said.