The atmosphere was filled with chatter and enthusiastic college students willing to take a stand for their futures regarding their education and voting rights. Joshua Edwards, Pensacola State SGA President-district coordinator said, “ The top three things that we can actually get our voice heard the most is the voting, matching funds, and also the veterans.”
Leon County commissioner John E. Dailey spoke words of wisdom to the Florida College System Student Government Associationcrowd the opening night on Feb. 1. Loud cheers and chants of FFCSGA filled the room as the students applauded and cheered while their district leaders were introduced as representatives for their groups.
Dailey told the students they were the future, college students who were here to pave the way for students wishing to pursue their education in the upcoming years.
“This group represents over a million students in the State of Florida,” he said. “It doesn’t matter which college you attend, you are here to represent your cause and achieve one common goal.”
Dailey encouraged the students to keep pursuing their educational goals regardless of the declining economy.
“Don’t believe when someone tell you that there will not be any jobs when you have completed your college studies,” he said. “Speaking as a business owner, I know we hire talent. Find your niche.”
Not only was the group rallying for tuition rates, early voting was another issue the Pensacola State College Student Government Association was fighting for.
“The early voting is important to me, because most youth are too busy with classes and work after school,” Tasia Elery, sophomore SGA liaison said. “If they have the opportunity to vote on campus early they will have a better chance to vote.”
Feb 2, Pensacola State College SGA and other colleges assembled at Capitol Hill, ready to meet legislators and rally for their causes. Despite the foggy weather and stormy weather conditions they were all eagerly waiting to take a stand and voice their opinions for a common goal.
Senator Maria Sachs opened with an electrifying speech, encouraging students to keep speaking their voice. Sachs told the crowd about how difficult it is to exist in the career world without an education.
“I had two choices, either work and not have to worry about paying college tuition, or just don’t go to college at all,” Sachs said. “I decided to work during the day and go to school at night because I realized how difficult it was to make it in this world without a college education.”
Sach’s ended her speech challenging students to go and visit the legislators that are not too friendly.
“Go to those legislators that do not believe in the same dream that you have,” she said. “Go to them and demand that the State of Florida commit to you a good tuition rate that makes common sense and that you can afford.”
Tuition and scholarships are a big concern to students trying to pursue an education. Edwards said, “My main thing was the scholars program. In Indiana there was a program that basically teaches you to how to become successful and how to become a great citizen. Unfortunately, Florida doesn’t have that here. I would like to see that happen.”
According to 21st century scholars program http://www.in.gov/ssaci/2345.htm, Indiana started the scholars program in 1990. This program guarantees that each student will be able to afford a college education.
Pensacola State College SGA students were well prepared, professional and ready to ask questions regarding their issues on voting, tuition, scholarship programs, and veterans. They were eager to meet with legislators and voice the issues that were important to them.
“I inform my members daily on what we are trying to do, who we are and who we represent,” Edwards said.
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