A number of area students from Iowa Lakes Community College were part of a group of Iowa Community College trustees, presidents, staff and students from other colleges who met with state legislators, agency staff and business leaders at the statehouse in Des Moines to celebrate Iowa Community College Day on Thursday, Jan. 30.
Iowa Community College Day gave students the opportunity to learn about the legislative process and meet with legislators. Students stressed the value of their education, urging legislators to ensure appropriate funding for community colleges.
The delegation from Iowa Lakes included six Student Senate members from the Emmetsburg, Estherville and Spencer campuses. They were Jake Jackson of Emmetsburg and Sierra Sampson from Vancouver, Wash, representing the Emmetsburg campus; Andrew Kruger of George, Trenton Meiners of Manson and Ryan Steinkamp of Spencer from the Estherville campus Student Senate; and, Julianna Gibson of Lehi, Utah, representing the Spencer campus.
The Iowa Lakes delegation began their duties on Jan. 29 with an address from the President of Iowa Lakes, Valerie Newhouse. Students arrived at the Capitol building and took a tour in the early afternoon of that day. Educational sessions started at 4 p.m. and included: Engaging in Politics, Leadership and Advocacy, Where are the Jobs When I Graduate?, and Your Vote Counts. The following day, the students had breakfast with legislators at the Capitol building and then met with legislators with ties to the Iowa Lakes region to lobby for an increase in general aid to help minimize the rising tuition costs.
Senators the Iowa Lakes students met with included: Dennis Guth, David Johnson, Randy Feenstra and Tod Bowman. The representatives the student met were Megan Hess and Dwayne Alons.
“This trip was very informative and (it was) cool to see how our state government is run,” said Meiners.
Sampson was impressed with the structure of the Capitol.
“The architecture of the State Capitol was beautiful and magnificent to see,” said Sampson.
And, Steinkamp gained a new insight on the legislature.
“The ability to go down to the Capitol and talk to our legislators and see what they do for our state was an interesting experience,” Steinkamp said.
Student Senators from Iowa’s 15 Community Colleges annually visit the Capitol in an event which is organized by the Iowa Association of Community College Trustees. The Iowa Lakes tour to the Iowa State Capitol was directed by Valerie Newhouse, President; Julie Williams, Dean of Students; and Bill Lapczenski, Director of Auxiliary Services.
Student Senators from Iowa Lakes included, from left, Sierra Sampson, Andrew Kruger, Trenton Meiners, Julianna Gibson, Representative Megan Hess, Ryan Steinkamp and Jake Jackson.