Gusties Descend on Capitol in St. Paul

Posted on March 10th, 2009 by

Gustavus Senior Briana Lindenberg talks to her hometown legislator Patti Fritz

Gustavus Senior Briana Lindenberg talks to her hometown legislator Patti Fritz


Gustavus senior Kacy Wothe talks to her hometown legislator Bud Nornes.

Gustavus senior Kacy Wothe talks to her hometown legislator Bud Nornes.

Forty students, six administrators, and one Board of Trustee member from Gustavus Adolphus College spent Thursday, March 5 at the Capitol in St. Paul. The mission for the group was simple: Stress the importance of the State Grant Program to Gustavus students by communicating directly with state legislators.

The annual event known as Day at the Capitol is organized by the Minnesota Private College Council and allows students to learn how to become effective advocates while urging state legislators to support Minnesota students. Currently more than 80,000 Minnesota undergraduate students receive need-based aid through the State Grant Program. The average State Grant award for Gustavus students in 2007 was $3,751.

“Minnesota families borrowed more than $1.2 billion in 2007 to pay for higher education,” Gustavus senior Julia Kruchoski said. “With a large number of students receiving need-based aid through the State Grant Program, it’s important that we ask our legislators to relieve the burden of increasing tuition costs on Minnesota families.”

Students who attended the Day at the Capitol event had meetings with their hometown legislators. Some of the meetings were held in the respective legislators’ office, while others were held more casually outside of the House chamber.

House Majority Leader Tony Sertich addressed the entire group. He spoke about the budget deficit that state legislators are facing this legislative session and then answered questions from the students regarding higher education funding.

Later in the afternoon, the group took part in two panel discussions with a variety of Gustavus-affiliated individuals who work at the Capitol, including Senator David Hahn ’73, Representative and Associate Professor of Communication Studies Terry Morrow, House Chaplain Rev. Dennis Johnson ’60, Legislative Assistant Meagan Bachmayer ’08, and Communication Specialist for the DFL Caucus Matt Swenson ’06.

“This year’s Day at the Capitol was a huge success,” siad senior Chris Edelbrock. “Students, faculty, administrators, and board members were able to emphasize the importance of the State Grant Program for both public and private college students in these difficult economic times. Those involved were also able to witness a historic time at the State Capitol — helping them better understand the political process, how it affects our daily lives, and how we can affect it as well.”

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Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin
jakin@gustavus.edu
507-933-7510

 

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