The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Austin trip gives chance to see legislature, meet local representatives

By Kenney Kost/managing editor

Students from across the district will get an opportunity to see state legislation in action and speak to local representatives during Community College Day at the Capitol Feb. 5.

Ten students and one faculty chaperone from each campus will attend the daylong event, which aims to raise student awareness of state legislation and to demonstrate the process of speaking to legislators, said NE student development associate Amity Womelsdorff.

“Many students have never gone to the Capitol and do not realize how easy it is to get their voice heard by local representatives,” she said. “The intent is to teach them how to become active citizens.”

NE Campus student Markeya Williams attended the event in 2011 and said the experience changed the way she views politics.

“The trip was very eye-opening,” Williams said. “I don’t think you can truly understand what goes on during a session until you sit through one. The tour was awesome as well. You get a real sense of the history of Texas government.”

The Texas Association of Community Colleges sponsors and organizes the event to give students a chance to not only see politics in action but also to give representatives a glimpse into the lives and concerns of the people they represent, said Cacy Curtis, director of strategic initiatives at TCC.

“There will be students from across Texas expressing their concerns regarding needs for community colleges,” she said. “The politicians need to hear from students to see firsthand the impact of their decision-making.”

NE vice president for student development services Magdalena De la Teja said the trip also helps to demonstrate to the legislature that community colleges matter.

“People don’t always realize what community colleges do for their community,” she said. “The legislature needs to know that students are good constituents. Keep them in mind.”

Womelsdorff said she hopes students who go bring back an understanding of how to affect change in their communities and a more active approach to politics.

“Seeing it in action really shows you the scope of influence the local government has on your everyday life and, if you disagree with something, you can go to your representative at anytime,” she said. “You get the sense that you can make a difference and that can be very inspiring.”

Womelsdorff said she understands that representatives have done a good job of getting to the campuses and speaking with students, but actually going to the Capitol is a more educational way to participate in local politics.

“You get see the politicians in action, and you gain a better understanding of the floor process,” she said.

 

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