Programs help students succeed
By Izzy Anderson - Staff Reporter
Students were set to speak with local legislators at the ASHC Legislative Breakfast Tuesday morning, but only two showed up. Students were instead greeted with presentations from the Associated Students of Highline College.
Nineteen legislators were invited a month ago but only State Rep. Tina Orwall, D-Des Moines, and State Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Des Moines, made it to the meal. And they didn't stay long.
Iesha Valencia, director of the Center for Leadership and Service, said Rep. Orwall had an emergency phone call and had to leave early. Sen. Keiser had an appointment at 8:30 a.m. that couldn't be rescheduled, Valencia said.
"We're very thankful that they still chose to come," she said.
"The House Democratic caucus had a conf licting meeting that had been scheduled prior (to the student legislative breakfast)," said State Rep. Steve Bergquist, D-Renton, referring to the House Democratic Caucus leadership elections.
The event was hosted by the Student Government and the Center for Leadership and Service.
Topics were chosen by the Washington Community and Technical College Student Association for their 2019 Legislative Action Agenda.
The ASHC Vice President Chalisa Thompson addressed college and textbook affordability, suggesting prices are too high.
ASHC President Max Brown addressed food insecurity on college campuses. He said that one in every six Washingtonians relies on a food bank or some other type of government assistance to do their grocery shopping.
Louis Ilhrig of Highline's Justice Scholars Society for Change suggested that previously incarcerated people should have their backgrounds hidden from employers.
"If someone served their time, that should be the end of it," Ilhrig said.
The agenda is based on
reports from community and technical college students as being their highest priorities for advocacy during the 2018- 2019 academic and legislative session.
Students shared their experiences dealing with similar issues mentioned in the agenda for the duration of the event.
During the Q&A near the end of the event, a student suggested that, while Highline appears to be doing well, graduation rates aren't higher than other schools.
The speakers suggested that promoting student involvement on campus could result in better grades.
Thompson and Brown also encouraged students to e-mail the legislators who didn't attend, to ask them why they didn't decide to show up.
On Wednesday, Brown clarified the reason to email legislators was to try to talk to them about the issues from the legislative breakfast that they were unable to attend.
A mystery prize was offered to students at the end of the legislative breakfast who returned to the Center for Leadership and Service with proof of sending an e-mail to legislators.