USF students preparing to visit capitol
The Bulls will visit Tallahassee for a couple of days this week during USF Day at the Capitol.
The event has been held for more than five years. Approximately 30 students will board a bus Tuesday morning and head to the state capitol to meet with legislators and other high-ranking officials to discuss issues pertaining to USF and the educational system as a whole.
USF isn’t the only organization that brings groups to speak with these lawmakers.
“Every group that has an interest with the legislators and has issues and is affected by laws has a Day at the Capitol,” said student body president Frank Harrison. “All the universities do one as well as major groups, like the FSA (Florida Student Association).”
According to Harrison, students will meet with lawmakers, hand out gift baskets filled with USF paraphernalia and participate in luncheons and a dinner.Although the list to participate filled quickly, some in SG feel as though Day at the Capitol is more of a publicity stunt for USF than a chance for legislators to hear students’ concerns.
“(Day at the Capitol is to) make more of a public presence than just lobbying alone,” Harrison said. “Really it’s a combination of lobbying and marketing.”
SG senate pro-tempore Nathan Davison agreed with Harrison that the University uses the day to market itself to legislators, but added that it’s necessary in order to keep USF at the forefront of the legislators’ minds when voting on important educational matters.
Davison also said that an argument could be made for how important it is to have students rather than professionals lobbying on behalf of USF.
“(Day at the Capitol is) lobbying for the University – trying to get more recognition for the University,” Davison said. “I think it’s important for USF to have a presence. As a student, I see some importance for being up there. It does have a certain amount of personality to it when you have students up there.”
The two-day event is paid for by the Activity and Service Fees that all students pay as part of their tuition each semester. The participants will return late Wednesday and will be excused from their classes.