The Associated Student Government from Santa Ana College traveled to Washington D.C. to attend the National Student Advocacy conference on March 17. ASG students from community colleges all over the United States attend this event and learn about federal legislation while also networking. Students discuss and finalize issues that will be brought up to the Members of Congress.
Each year ASG selects members to participate in the General Assembly hosted in Washington D.C. This year we had enough funds to send over 7 students to represent SAC. I was one of seven students who got the chance to attend and advocate for students’ needs.
The general conference was four days long, consisting of attending workshops, listening to motivational guest speakers, visiting the Capitol, and touring Washington D.C. During the five days, we gathered with other community college students from all over the United States.
We arrived on Friday and we took advantage of our free time and decided to venture out and explore Washington D.C. We saw the White House and visited the Lincoln Memorial, and we had the opportunity to walk on the Reflecting pool because it was under maintenance.
Saturday is when the conference began. The American Student Association of Community Colleges held a panel discussion to talk about the top three issues students would be focusing on. These issues were the Dream Act of 2023, the Higher Education Reauthorization Act, and the Pell Grant Funding Act. Each community college gathered its students and ranked the acts based on what affected their college the most.
At the end of the day, each college cast its ballot vote. Along with talking about these issues, we had the chance to listen to keynote speakers and attend various workshops.
On Sunday, all the ballots were cast and combined. The order was the Dream Act of 2023, the Pell Grant Funding Act, and the Higher Education Reauthorization Act. Groups prepared speeches they would deliver to key staff members of Senators and Representatives.
Monday came along and we got the chance to visit the Hart Senate Office Building and Capitol Hill. SCC came along with our group and we delivered our prepared speeches and stories in the buildings to our representatives. Our associated student government got the chance to speak to Lou Correa, Young Kim, Diane Feinstein, and Alex Padilla’s staff members.