Gustavus Students Advocate at the State Capitol

Lobbying in support of the Minnesota State Grant program, 30 students traveled to St. Paul for a day of advocacy and networking.
Posted on April 5th, 2018 by

A group of students gather on the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol.

Last week, Gustavus Adolphus College President Rebecca Bergman joined 30 Gustavus students on a trip to St. Paul for a day of advocacy and networking. Representing the College, the group gathered at the Capitol to meet with legislators to lobby in support of the Minnesota State Grant. A statewide program available to low- and middle-income families, the State Grant awards financial assistance to students regardless of their choice of higher education institutions.

Across the state, over 81,000 students utilize the State Grant program to ease the cost of attending college. At Gustavus, over 30 percent of students benefit directly from the State Grant. The program also allows the College’s financial aid awards to be available for more students.

Students at Gustavus and other Minnesota private colleges and universities join the Minnesota Private College Council at the Capitol each year to ensure that the Minnesota legislature continues to fund the State Grant program and to thank legislators for supporting students.

Senior Kelsey Backer met with Gustavus alumna and State Representative Roz Peterson ’87.

In order to prepare for the Day at the Capitol, students in political science professor Kate Knutson’s Public Policy course spent several weeks researching effective advocacy techniques and organizing a training for students not in the course.

Students who come to Gustavus Day at the Capitol learn to advocate for funding for higher education, but the same skills and process can be applied to any issue they care about,” Knutson said. “I hope this experience will give students confidence to advocate for the issues that matter to them.”

Following meetings with state legislators, the group of Gustavus students attended a networking event at the State Capitol, where a group of Gustavus alumni from around St. Paul and the government sector had convened for the afternoon.

“While talking with the alums, I couldn’t help but put myself in their shoes, envisioning my life 5 years and 10 years down the road. It is amazing to see the different routes that you can take after you graduate even if I don’t know exactly what my path is right now,” senior Hubert Ngabirano said. “They always say Gusties are Gusties, but that was real at that event.”


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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