Galveston College students joined GC President W. Myles Shelton, Ed.D., at the Texas capitol on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023, to meet with their state representatives and discuss issues relevant to the student body and the college.
“For the majority of our students, who are also first-generation college students, this was their first visit to the Capitol,” said Shelton, Galveston College president. “This was a good opportunity for our students to voice their concerns to our legislators and let them know what is relevant to them and their fellow students in pursuing a higher education and a better life for their families.”
After an early morning arrival, breakfast and photo session on the south steps of the Capitol, the contingent of GC students met with Sen. Mayes Middleton and Rep. Terri Leo-Wilson.
Among the issues discussed were the Community College Finance Reform, Texas Education Opportunity Grants (TEOG), cybersecurity and IT modernization, clinical nursing sites and the Texas Transfer Framework.
“The trip was very beneficial for students as a whole. It was a good opportunity for us to see the process behind the scenes and the work that is done in order for us to afford education,” said GC Student Government Association President Trina Woodard. “As someone who is going to school later in life, now I truly understand how it affects everything as a whole.”
“For me, it’s important so I can represent our students the way they need to be,” she added. “I know a lot of things that students go through have to do with finances, whether they have to work to afford to live or to pay for school. Now, I understand what needs to be looked at or has to go back to the drawing board and see what we actually need. It’s good to know we can go to the Capitol, meet with our state representatives and know our voices are actually heard.”
In addition to engaging with Sen. Middleton and Rep. Leo-Wilson, GC students had a chance to network with students and administrators from other Texas institutions of higher education, tour the Capitol and learn about the political process.
“We heard from the legislators for Galveston County and learned how politics work from a broad perspective,” said GC Electrical and Electronics Technology program student Gustavo Salazar. “I was able to speak with students from other colleges and I really wanted to keep the conversation going because I believe when we get together and start talking about specific topics, such as the needs of a community college student, new ideas can spark and we can submit those ideas to the legislators.”
ABOUT GALVESTON COLLEGE
Galveston College was founded in 1967 and is a comprehensive community college providing the residents of Galveston Island and the surrounding region with academic, workforce development, continuing education and community service programs.