Advocacy Day

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Radford University students recently took part in a very successful Advocacy Day, which provided an opportunity for students to go to Richmond to engage with state delegates and senators to lobby for issues they feel are important.

“Advocacy Day was a really good civics lesson where students can see firsthand how our legislative process works,” said Dr. Irvin Clark, Dean of Students.

The delegates and senators came from around the state of Virginia, including Delegate Scott, Senator McEachin and Senator Barker, as well as many others. The students came from different districts with almost all the districts represented.

There were 41 students in total that participated that broke into seven groups, all representing Radford.

The students spoke about how important Radford University is to them, and what it means to be a Radford student. The goal was to make the delegates and senators remember Radford as a group, hoping that when they make decisions about higher education they will remember Radford University.

Each student dressed in the same outfit to represent Radford in a positive light and for the students to look uniform. The uniform consisted of matching RU mock turtle-necks, black blazers, and black bottoms.

Students from any field of study could participate and many different fields were represented. Specifically, students studying nursing, criminal justice and sociology were present. Both undergraduate and graduate students were able to participate, though most students were undergraduate.

“It was a great opportunity for networking. I got to meet the delegates and senator from my own district and speak to them about what I felt was important,” said Lara Barbir, a graduate student.

Topics discussed varied, depending on where the students and representative were from. Certain topics were brought up with almost every group, such as financial support for higher education, sexual assaults on campuses, mental health and suicide awareness.

Each student got to have their voice heard from people that could change things for the better. The opinions of the students and from the delegates and senators were stated making it known what each person felt was important.

Prior to Advocacy Day, the students participated in two sessions that in total lasted about three hours, where they created mock sessions to get a feel about what the real day would be like. This helped the students be confident in themselves and be prepared for the actual day.

“Our students went in very confident to truly share who Radford University was and to participate in a very good conversation with the delegates and senators,” said Clark.

Advocacy Day happens every year and any student can participate.

“The experience was great. This was my first time going and I would go again. I think more people should apply to be part of Advocacy Day and go,” said Chai Fuller, a criminal justice student.