Legislative Affairs Committee Report 01/30/2014
This week we revised our tentative schedule of events for Day at the Capitol. The schedule of events has been revised according to Mr. Jeff Pitchford’s suggestions to avoid the times that legislators typically have committee meetings and legislative sessions. In addition to finalizing the schedule of events for Day at the Capitol, we discussed logistics for the event. Ben Lykins has been in contact with the Secretary of State’s office and will talk with them this week about set up for the Rotunda — including stage, microphones, etc. This week we will also be contacting Governor Mike Beebe’s office and Director of the Department of Higher Education Shane Broadway in the hopes of having both of them speak during our event in the Rotunda. This week we will also be in contact with the rest of the schools who should be attending the event. We will send them a copy of the schedule of events. Our goal is to have a solid list of the schools who are committed to come to the event this week so that we can finalize plans and finish coordinating the event. This is a copy of our schedule of events:
10:30 am - Orientation
-All schools will meet in the Rotunda
-Gilbert Baker from UCA will discuss how to talk with Legislators and current issues in state politics (passing the budget, etc.)
11:00 am - Day at the Capitol Event
-Mascots come to the stage for an introduction. Show school spirit
-A representative from each school will make a short speech (5 to 10 minutes) on a higher education topic of their choice including some accomplishments from their student government during that year. This can also include personal stories about higher education and scholarships.
-Director Shane Broadway of Higher Education
-Governor Mike Beebe (potentially)
12:00pm - Break to meet individually with your Congressman and Senators
Senate and House will begin their session between 1:00 pm and 1:30 pm. Each group will have the option of observing their session if they choose.
Legislative Affairs Committee Report 01/23/2014
This week we sent out the tentative schedule for President Adam Price and Vice President Jeff Pitchford to look at. I met with Mr. Pitchford Friday afternoon to discuss the schedule and some suggestions he had. He suggested that we keep the event between 11am and 1pm because that is the break that the legislators typically have each day. Therefore, he suggested that the schedule be changed to so that the main event in the Rotunda begin in 11am and take out the 1pm round table discussion. The committee will discuss these changes and revise the schedule in next weeks meeting. We have been in contact with the University of Arkansas who is still planning on participating in the event. We will send them our finalized schedule after the committee finalizes it next week.The rest of the committee has emailed Arkansas State, UALR, Henderson State, and Arkansas Tech, but we have not received a response from any of them yet. We have stayed in contact with Senator Rapert and Representative Meeks, and both legislators are willing to help us with Day at the Capitol and potentially come to campus to speak this semester. This week we also confirmed that the Capitol Rotunda is reserved for Day at the Capitol for March 6th. We will discuss the schedule of events with them after we have confirmed the schedule in next weeks meeting.
Legislative Affairs Committee Report 01/16/2014
During this weeks meeting we put together an outline for the schedule of events for Day at the Capitol. We will email this schedule to Adam Price to get feed back from him. Then we will email Mr. Jeff Pitchford for any suggestions or comments. The basic plan for the day will include an information session in the morning, speeches from the student body presidents, a keynote address, and then have a smaller meeting that afternoon with some of our local legislators. Stephanie Daigle has been in contact with Arkansas senator Rapert and representative Meeks about speaking on campus and assisting us with the Day at the Capitol. Senator Rapert’s office was optimistic about doing the event. This week we will be reestablishing contact with all the schools we contacted last semester, and send them a copy of the schedule we have created as soon as we have it approved.
Legislative Affairs Committee Report 11/21/2013
This week the committee finished up the Day at the Capitol resolution and presented it to the Student Life committee. After some discussion with the Student Life committee, changes were made to the resolution’s whereas clauses to make them more clear. Also, the resolution will now include our support for increasing the Academic Challenge Scholarship back to the amount the scholarship was a few years ago. We will vote on the resolution this week in Senate. We are continuing to stay in contact with our various other schools, and we will be sending them copies of the resolution this week. This week we will also be contacting the Secretary of State’s office to begin reserving areas of the capitol building for the event and we will ask them for suggestions for events to be held throughout the day. This week we will also be contacting Senator Pryor and Senator Boozman to set up potential on campus speaking engagements for next semester.
Legislative Affairs Committee Report 11/14/2013
This week the committee continued to to contact schools across the state about Day at the Capitol. We are continuing to discuss the event with UALR. Harding University messaged us back after several weeks and appear to be interested in the event as well. Arkansas Tech discussed the event with their executive board this week and we are waiting back on a response. We also contacted a member of the University of Arkansas Student Government, and they also appear to be interested in participating in the event. This week the committee also set Tuesday, February 18th as the date for Day at the Capitol. We determined that this would be the best possible date based on the options suggested by Mr. Pitchford. This week we will finish the Day at the Capitol resolution and present it to the Student Life committee so that it can be voted on by full senate next week.
Legislative Affairs Committee Report 11/07/2013
This week the committee continued to reach out to schools across the state to join us at our Day at the Capital event. We have been in contact with UALR who will discuss the event with their executive board this week. We will also be contacting Arkansas Tech this week. We have stayed in contact with Arkansas States and we will inform them of our progress on the joint resolution we plan on having passed by all student governments who are coming to the event with us. We worked on the resolution this week and discussed it in our weekly executive committee meeting. The executive committee was in favor of the resolution but suggested we include more research in support of the resolution. The resolution is in support of increasing higher education funding for four year institutions and keeping the Academic Challenge Scholarship at the current amount. The committee will continue to research the resolution this week and create a final version that we will present to the Student Life committee for approval to be debated and voted on in full Senate before the end of the semester.
Legislative Affairs Committee Report 10/31/2013
This week the committee discussed creating a resolution that student governments from all the universities participating will pass before the Day at the Capital. The resolution will focus on keeping the lottery scholarship at its current level and increasing state funding to higher education. We will be working on finalizing the resolution throughout the week and make any necessary changes at next weeks committee meeting. This week we stayed in contact with Arkansas State. Their student government appears to be supportive of the Day at the Capital even. This week we also began reaching out to the student government president at Arkansas Tech; no response yet. The committee’s attempts to contact Harding have been unsuccessful so far. The committee also reached out to the student government at UALR for the first time; also no response yet. We have continued to stay in contact with the University of Arkansas. We have not heard yet if they are willing to work with us on this event.
Legislative Affairs Committee Report 10/24/2013
This week the committee met with Mr. Jeff Pitchford and discussed Day at the Capital and other events we are looking at planning. For Day at the Capital, we discussed creating a resolution that could be adopted by all the universities participating in the event. This resolution could include three major points that all our universities could agree on - lottery scholarship, higher education funding, etc. This would also help us to create an information sheet to give to all students going to the capital with us. This resolution could then be placed on every legislators desk for them to see when they sat down at their desk. Next week the committee will draft up a mock resolution to present to executive committee. We will use this as the basis for what we will show to the other student governments. Day at the Capital will take place when the legislature meets in February. We also discussed hosting a Meet Your Congressman event on campus where our state senator and representative could come to campus and do an event with students. Mr. Pitchford thought we could do this in January before the session starts, and he said they should both be willing to do an event like that on campus. Ben Lykins will be researching UALR’s student government and contacting them about participating in Day at the Capital, and we are continuing to talk with student government associations from Arkansas State and the U of A.
Legislative Affairs Committee Report 10/17/2013
The committee did not meet this week due to Fall Break. We continued to work on committee assignments. The committee contacted Mr. Jeff Pitchford, and he will be attending our committee meeting this Thursday. We also made contact with representatives from ASU student government and University of Arkansas student government.
Legislative Affairs Committee Report 10/10/2013
The committee continued to research Day at the Capital events that different schools have put on. Most of them involve a meal with several state senators and representatives. Some of them meet with their districts representatives. A couple of schools even have more of a rally involving teachers and faculty with students. These events also focus on a specific financial issue typically. Students in Minnesota have focused on a state funded scholarship that a large proportion of Minnesota students use. They talked with their Congressman about the importance of keeping that scholarship funded and how important it is to many students in the state. This is similar to what we are hoping to do with the lottery scholarship during our Day at the Capital. The lottery scholarship continues to be cut, but it is the reason why many high school graduates are able to attend college at all. This week I emailed Mr. Pitchford again, still no response. Throughout this week we will begin contacting different student government groups in colleges across the state. We are beginning with the University of Arkansas, Arkansas State, and Harding, but we plan to expand the number of schools we reach out to for this event.
Legislative Affairs Committee Report 10/03/2013
This week we emailed Mr. Jeff Pitchford about the Legislative Affairs Committee to see any ideas or suggestions he has for us. We also researched North Dakota Student Association to see how their group works and if such a system would work in Arkansas in the future. The NDSA represents the needs of the students of North Dakota at the state legislature. They have monthly meetings where they discuss legislation and other political issues that have an affect on students. The NDSA has its own executive board as well as representatives from each participating university. Stephanie researched other schools in Arkansas and their roll in legislative affairs. The University of Arkansas and University of Arkansas at Little Rock have held “Day at the Capital” events similar to the breakfast we had last spring. These events usually consist of political science students talking with state representatives and senators. Winston researched how schools across the country have done their own “Day at the Capital” events. Their events were similar to our Day at the Capital last year but they typically involve a larger number of students talking with state representatives. Moving forward, we will continue to research other “Day at the Capital” events (Winston), research recent Arkansas legislation that affects students especially with the lottery scholarship and student debt issues, and contact members of UCA’s administration with ties to other universities that can join us for a joint day at the capital.