Between March 7th and 10th, ten students, representing the seven state universities, as well as two staff members took on Washington D.C. to discuss our federal legislative agenda with Minnesota’s US Representatives and Senators. In addition to meeting with members of Minnesota’s delegation, we also had the opportunity to meet with staff from USPIRG, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and AASCU.
During each meeting, we discussed our federal legislative agenda as well as other higher education challenges students face. Our federal legislative agenda contained supporting four main points: increased funding for the Pell Grant, simplifying the FAFSA application process, funding to make textbooks more affordable, and continued access to low interest federal student loans. Luckily, we had a fantastic opportunity to not only speak to legislative staff members but to Representative Emmer, Representative Nolan, Representative Walz, Senator Franken, and Senator Klobuchar themselves.
Even though we were only in DC for three days, we had many other exciting moments. Before departing for DC, our group shared a flight and had the opportunity to briefly speak with Representatives Ellison, Paulsen, and Nolan. Additionally, we had the opportunity to have dinner with and present the Students United Partner Award to Toyia Younger, former Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs at Minnesota State system office, for her long-term support and understanding of student issues at the system office.
I would like to thank Elsbeth and Sarah for coordinating meetings, figuring out logistics, and planning an amazing experience for students!