Hokie Day in Richmond

After hearing my friend’s story of how he took an opportunity, I figured it was my turn. Members of our Student Government and other organizations from Virginia Tech were offered an invitation to meet with Virginia legislators. So, I took an opportunity and traveled to Richmond in the hopes of making real change at the state level. We spent the morning breakfast with prominent alums, like the CEO of Suntrust, and key administrators, like the Dean of Engineering and President Steger.

With the announcement of Obama’s Economic Stimulus package and $150 billion appropriated specifically to Education, with $79 billion going directly to states (New York Times), we hoped some would find its way to Virginia Tech. We knew we would have to give the delegates a story that they could relate to. We needed to give them something that they would not forget.

“It takes me over a half hour to get food at times, because of overcrowding. I have two classes of over 500 students as a sophomore. We have fixed costs that have risen enormously, which does not make sense given that they are “fixed.” Our tuition rates have more than doubled in 5 years due to the lack of funding of our public institution by our state legislature. My quality of life has diminished rapidly over a single year and we would appreciate your help.”

They knew the stats. They knew the financial projections. They knew the economic situation for the entire state. But, they didn’t know the effect on us as students.

Shane says in short: Take every opportunity you can. Everyone has the ability to empathize with people. Tell your story and give them an opportunity to step into your shoes.

Source: New York Times

Here in a concise version of what has been happening at VT in terms of enrollment, funding, and spending:

hokieday1

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~ by shanemccarty on February 1, 2009.

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