For Immediate Release
USU STUDENTS MAKE THEIR PRESENCE KNOWN ON CAPITOL HIILL
The Associated Students of Utah State University
In an effort to bring student rights to the forefront of state legislators, student representatives from Utah State University traveled to Capitol Hill on Wednesday, making their presence known not only with their words, but also with famous Aggie Ice Cream.
The student lobbyists were organized under Ashley Johnson, Executive Vice President of the Associated Students of USU. The group, which consisted of a broad range of students from varying colleges, meet regularly on campus to discuss student rights and bills that have a direct effect on them. After collaboration, training and advising from numerous guest speakers during the fall semester, the group gets the opportunity every spring to put their newly-acquired knowledge to work by lobbying in Salt Lake City.
"This is a great group," Johnson said. "Everyone helps to contribute to our cause, which is simply to let our senators and representatives know that we care about what goes on up here."
Johnson went on to say that college students face an uphill battle when working with state legislators being plagued by the stereotype of low voter turnouts and political apathy. That, Johnson said, is something this group of students is trying to disprove.
Wednesday was considered an overwhelming success by the group, due mostly to the fact that the bills they were in favor for were widely discussed with various state congressman, albeit over ice cream. The group reported meeting with prominent and senior members of the senate including Senator Lyle Hillyard from Logan, Utah and Senator Dorothy Dayton from Utah Valley. In the House of Representatives, Congressman Fred Hunsaker, Jack Draxler, and Jim Webb were among those courted by the USU students.
"The issues are real. They are important," said Casey Anderson, a junior majoring in Political Science. "The ice cream is just a way for us to grab people's attention."
This was the group's fifth trip to the Capitol in the last two months, but their efforts for this congressional cycle are coming to a close. They plan to make one last trip to Salt Lake City next week before the winter session of Congress ends in early March.