USG to host trip to State Capitol

Aimee Hancock and Aimee Hancock

University students who are curious about how government works at the state level have the opportunity to learn firsthand during a trip to the Ohio State capitol April 2.

The trip is organized by members of the Undergraduate Student Government and the University.

The trip is coordinated by the University and representatives at the Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio. Members of USG then work with the University to get students to and from the capitol, said USG President Alex Solis.

USG is also responsible for choosing a delegation of student government members to represent the University during the visit. Solis said this year’s delegation consists of 10 students — seven undergraduates and three graduates.

The graduate delegates are chosen from the University’s Graduate Student Senate and the undergrad representatives are chosen from USG through a “process of elimination,” Solis said. One factor that goes into this process is whether the student will be graduating or not.

Solis also said they want to choose people who will be returning to the University next year, rather than graduating seniors.

USG members will gain valuable experience during the trip that will complement their roles at the University, said USG Advisor Jodi Webb.

The role of the student government “is to serve as the voice of the undergraduate student body,” Webb said. This is done so by becoming aware of student and University affairs, by working with University officials firsthand and by serving as a voice for students.

Participating USG members have the opportunity to incorporate what they learn at the capitol into their governing duties at the University. Aside from the USG delegates, all students are welcome.

USG’s City, State and Nation Liaison Ethan Byrum said that he believes this trip will serve as a good experience for students even if they are not participating in student government because “every student needs to know how government works.”

Byrum said the trip will give visitors a sort of behind-the-scenes look at what goes into government policies and students will have the chance to “rub shoulders” with the people in power who are making these policies.

Those attending from the University will arrive at the capitol mid-afternoon on April 2. Solis said that the itinerary for the day begins with a legislative briefing by the State House and State Senate.

Attendees will then hear what has been up for debate on the Senate floor for the past year and the discussion of current issues will be included. Activities will also involve roundtable discussions and talk of student initiatives.

A reception will be held mid-evening. Solis said that University President Mary Ellen Mazey will be in attendance as well as University alumni who now work for the government.

This trip is free of charge and a ride to the capitol is provided. Any student wishing to sign up may do so through the University’s Career Center.