Higher Education Day provides students an opportunity to compare Emporia State and other state universities in Kansas each year. On Feb. 19, students from the regents schools, including ESU, Pittsburg State, Wichita State, University of Kansas, Kansas State and Fort Hayes State, will meet in Topeka with state representatives and senators. This year, ESU will send 50 students to the event, which is double last year’s 25.
Associated Student Government held informational meetings this week for students who were interested in Higher Education Day and Day under the Dome, an event planned for Feb. 10 in Lawrence specifically for ESU students, faculty, staff and alumni.
Luke Drury, senior political science major, said Higher Education Day will involve various topics, including allowing concealed carry on campus and the positive impact higher education has on the economy.
“Also, we want to talk about allowing non-U.S. citizens who have lived in the state for three or more years and obtained a diploma from a Kansas high school to be eligible for in-state tuition rate,” Drury said.
Drury said the idea is to get students informed about what legislators do in Topeka and what bills they pass and that Higher Education Day directly connects students with local state government.
This will be Russell Cornelius’ first time to attend the event.
“I’m excited to go and really kind of make a connection with our representatives,” Cornelius said. “This is a wonderful opportunity not only for myself, but also all the students in ESU and other (universities).”
Drury said that ASG wants to get more students involved because some of the talking points directly affect the university, and it is a good opportunity for students to voice their opinions.
“It’s a great experience because you actually realize these are the real people whose decisions affect our daily life on our campus,” said Stuart Sneath, senior sociology major and vice president of ASG. “It’s really a learning experience. It’s a great opportunity for you to socialize and also to express to them how vital higher education is not only in Kansas, but the nation as a whole.”
During Day Under the Dome, Drury said the ESU students who attend will support Gov. Sam Brownback’s proposed budget recommendations for higher education.
“We also want to support the local options for the concealed legislation, and we want the organization to solve the transfer of university property for ESU apartments,” Drury said.