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Student-Legislator Interaction the Focus of Capital Day

by on April 03, 2012 4:48 PM

Capital Day provides student leaders with the opportunity to talk one-on-one with legislators who make the major financial decisions that affect the university – and with the drastic budget cuts this year, tomorrow's event is more important than ever.

Ben Clark, Governmental Affairs Director for the Council of Commonwealth Student Governments, said Capital Day is an effort made every year by students to make a difference in their education and a contribution that looks out for their fiscal future.

"We want to find out how we can restore the funding to Penn State and help the affordability for Pennsylvania residents," Clark said. "We elect these people, they're here to represent us, so having that conversation is vital."

Clark said more than 500 students signed up for the event, which kicks off at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Harrisburg and includes stops in legislators' offices, where Capital Day participants will break into teams to meet with legislators to talk about the issues most pressing to Penn State – at University Park and each of the Commonwealth Campuses.

One of the most visible events in the push for students' voices to be heard is the "Rally in the Rotunda," where students and alumni have the opportunity to lobby for lower tuition via legislative reforms, among other things.

Participants will then replenish post-rally with an ice cream social, featuring Penn State's own Berkey Creamery ice cream.

The driving force behind Capital Day is The Penn State Grassroots network, who this year has collaborated with the Council of Commonwealth Student Governments, the University Park Undergraduate. Association and the Graduate Student Association, according to the Registration page on the Alumni Association's website.

Laura Nichols is a news reporter and @LC_Nichols on Twitter.
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