On Monday, February 3, 2014, students of Rappahannock Community College’s Warsaw Campus traveled to a session of the General Assembly in Richmond. Those making the student trip were Taryn Burrell of Northumberland County, Connor Gay of King George County, and Shanekya Tate of Westmoreland County.
Each year RCC’s president, Dr. Elizabeth Crowther, invites a few students to attend “Community College Days at the Capitol” with her. Since many of them have never visited the legislature, “this experience helps to share just how the government in Virginia works,” says history professor Matthew Brent, who coordinated the trip. Also accompanying the students were Dr. Donna Alexander, RCC’s vice president of instruction and student development; College Board chair Gerald Roane; information systems technology professor Ruth Greene; and Dr. Crowther’s administrative assistant, Chris Stamper.
The group visited the General Assembly building, observed committee deliberations, and met with their representatives — Delegate Margaret Ransone of Virginia’s 99th District, and Delegate Keith Hodges of the 98th District — in order to share their community college experiences.
“We usually end the day by sitting in on a session of the House and Senate,” notes Brent, “and frequently we are privileged to be introduced and recognized in the chamber. The purpose of these trips is to expose students to the workings of government, and, hopefully, to acquaint government officials with the hard work of our students.”
While speaking with their representatives, the students also advocated for support of the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), and higher education in general.
Community College Days are occasions for students from all over the state to promote VCCS legislative goals, and to remind legislators of the importance of Virginia’s community colleges in providing for the critical needs of the Commonwealth and its citizens.