Students from Kansas regent schools, including Emporia State, Wichita State, Pittsburg State, University of Kansas, Kansas State and Fort Hayes State met in the capitol Tuesday with state legislators for Day Under the Dome. This year, ESU had 10 faculty and alumni and 13 students represent the university during the annual event sponsored by Associated Student Government.
Students lobbied for issues concerning ESU to state legislators, such as supporting Gov. Sam Brownback’s proposed budget, supporting the Kansas Board of Regents’ legislative agenda and approving the sale of ESU Apartments. All the volunteers who attended the Day under the Dome were trained from 4-6 p.m. Monday on the talking points and proper etiquette for talking with legislators, as well as the agenda for the day.
“This year was different because we celebrated the recognition of ESU’s 150th in both the Senate and the House,” said Brooke Schmidt, senior Spanish major and president of ASG. “This (was) an opportunity for students to learn about how our state legislators directly affect them. It (was) also a chance for faculty and staff to work with students.”
This was the first time for Amandra Campbell, junior communication major, to attend Day Under the Dome. She said that what impressed her most was being able to represent the school and getting to meet people who represent the state.
“I learned more about myself and know I’m making a difference at Emporia State,” Campbell said.
ESU participants lobbied for bills they felt are beneficial for the future of higher education and the future of Kansas.
Kelsey Waller, sophomore nursing major, also attended Day Under the Dome for the first time, as well as Higher Education Day Feb. 11.
“I prepared by going to Higher Education Day, which was an all-day thing held at the capitol building,” Waller said. “We also had an educational meeting where we went over the bills and they were explained in full detail so we could talk to legislators about them.”
Schmidt said she “loves” participating in events like these.
“The impact it has on students… is a real eye opener,” Schmidt said.