This content was published: February 12, 2018. Phone numbers, email addresses, and other information may have changed.
‘Day at the Capitol’ gives students, staff and faculty avenue to show PCC’s worth
Photos and Story by James Hill
The college is hosting its sixth annual Day at the Capitol where nearly 200 students, faculty and staff will converge on the Capitol Building to meet with their representatives and senators. The goal of the lobbying effort is to highlight the vital role that PCC plays in student success, Oregon’s economy and the greater community. Attendees are encouraged to tell their “PCC Story” to legislators and thank them for investing in higher education.
The event is set for 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 27, in the Oregon State Capitol Building in Salem. To register, visit the website’s sign up page. Free transportation will be provided to the Capitol from the Sylvania Campus and back.
“I was energized by the chance to participate,” said Sylvania Campus President Lisa Avery at last year’s event. “To me, this kind of civic engagement is a great experience for our faculty, staff and students, and it’s a privilege to help lead PCC’s large delegation.”
The opportunity to talk directly to elected leaders is important as PCC receives nearly 40 percent of its funding from the state. The day will feature a breakfast, academic program displays, floor session attendance, lunch, team meetings with legislators, and a group photo in front of the Capitol Building.
Stories told to state leaders make an impact. Last year, student Michael William-Roberts met with the office staff of Rep. Mitch Greenlick (District 33 – Northwest Portland). A first-generation college student, he explained to the house member that he and his mother share an apartment and are facing financial challenges that may force him to drop out of school.
He is studying environmental sciences at PCC and wants to ultimately transfer to Oregon State University to major in environmental policy. He has work experience as a waiter as well as an overseas English teacher, but wants to use his new technical skills in a career that makes a difference.
“We’re currently struggling to pay rent,” he said. “I’m using my financial aid loans for that purpose because I haven’t been able to find a job. I’m concerned that if tuition goes up, there’s less money for rent. It’s a pretty tight budget right now, and if I don’t figure out my financial aid situation soon, I’ll probably get evicted in June. There’s a lot of pressure, and it certainly wouldn’t help to have to pay more tuition.”
Curious about last year’s Day at the Capitol and what kind of impact it made? Read the recap feature from 2017.