Advocacy Day, trustees conference highlights of week 4
The highlight of this week was Legislative Advocacy day. This event, hosted by the Washington Community Technical Colleges Student Association (WACTCSA), gave insight to student leaders on advocating during legislative session. Students also had the opportunity to meet with their legislators for pre-scheduled visits.
I had the opportunity to sit on a student panel. Here, I was able to share my previous experiences in Olympia and give tips on talking with legislators.
The day was a successful milestone for WACTCSA as the students involved attended over 50 visits in one day.
Brenda stated, "It was an exciting day overall, meeting with legislators... I have gained more knowledge on how to talk and what to say to legislators through Advocacy Day."
On Monday, Brenda visited the Governor's office with Arlen Harris, the director of Legislative Affairs at SBCTC, where they met with the Office of Financial Management. In the discussion, two bills were mentioned: SB 5074 and HB 1488. These bills would allow for undocumented students to be eligible for the College Bound Scholarship.
Later that evening, I attended the Association of College Trustees (ACT) Transforming Lives Award Ceremony. The Transforming Lives Award recognizes five students whose lives were impacted by attending community or technical colleges in Washington state.
This years awardees were Mohamed Abdullahi, Marady Duong, Aaron Miller, Ben Feldbush, and Monique Bourgeau. Coming from various backgrounds, these students captivated the room with their testimonies of hardship, rising through hope and determination, and their newfound sense of a path and a purpose that will follow them on their journey.
On Tuesday, Brenda and I attended the ACT Legislative Contact Conference.
The morning kicked off with a vibrant conversation, led by Dr. Luke Robins, president of Peninsula College, and Mike Scroggins, deputy executive director of information technology at SBCTC, about the successes and pitfalls in the upcoming ctcLink system. Following their panel, SBCTC's own Arlen Harris gave a legislative update that informed ACT members of relevant bills and legislative stances to be aware of.
In light of some hard pressing McCleary issues, we had the pleasure of hearing from Chris Reykdal, the Superintendent of Public Instruction. He spoke to the vision he has for both the K-12 system and higher education, and explained some of his goals as he starts into this new position.
After Reykdal, Rep. Jeff Holy spoke from his perspective on what the community and technical colleges can expect during this session. Holy represents the 6th Legislative District and sits on the House Higher Education Committee.
During this conference, Brenda had the opportunity to meet with Leonor Fuller, vice chair of the South Puget Sound Community College Board of Trustees.
"It was very exciting to meet with the trustee because I feel more involved with my college," said Brenda.
The enrichment of this week was found in the connection Brenda and I had with other students in our community and technical college system. Through Advocacy Day and the Transforming Lives award ceremony, we had the privilege of hearing stories from students outside of our own campuses and seeing the similarities and differences of our needs as students.