Students defend university funding at state capitol
Donterio Ligons, The Oklahoma Daily
An OU student prepared to take her first step into politics as she disembarked from a bus with fellow students and entered the Oklahoma State Capitol.
Lindsey Weiss looked perfectly composed as she paused between meetings with legislators. With her typed notes in hand, her calm demeanor constrasted with the intense bustle around her.
To her left, a choir had just left the rotunda while, downstairs, a student quartet was playing. Interest groups and schoolchildren filled the Capitol, all busy meeting with different legislators.
Lindsey Weiss, international studies and Arabic sophomore, joined about 50 OU students and drove to the State Capitol to defend the university’s funding on Higher Education Day.
“It is a chance for students to lobby on behalf of all the students at OU,” Student Government Association Vice President Rainey Sewell said.
The main reason students lobby at the Capital is for funding, SGA President Joe Sangirardi said. This year, not only were students asking for more money for the university, but they were there to defend the funding OU already has.
OU’s Student Government Association has been attending Higher Education Day since the 1990’s, Sewell said.
Higher Education Day brings together student delegates from universities around the state to remind state legislators of the importance of funding higher education, according to Daily archives.
Throughout the day, student delegates perform “drop-ins,” stopping by legislators’ offices with informational packets and a pitch, according to Daily archives.
After her meeting with state legislators, Weiss remained positive.
“To be able to talk to the people who are making decisions about my university – about my state – I feel like I’m both making history and watching history happen,” Weiss said.