Virginia 21 is a political organization that aims to advocate for higher education among students ages 18-26. Here at Radford University, Virginia 21 is a subcommittee of the SGA working it’s way to becoming an organization that would work hand-in-hand with SGA. The head organization of Virginia 21 is stationed in Richmond, Virginia.
Virginia 21 may not be a new committee to the university, but the efforts and awareness they are promoting are fresh. Currently the main focus for the committee is the Stop the Drop Campaign. The purpose of the campaign is to get people aware of the drop in financial aid that has now been going on for about five years. The goal is to win an extra $25 million towards higher education in Virginia, explains President of Virginia 21, Colby Bender. In order to get the reward, the committee has to get 2,500 people to sign a petition.
The signatures don’t have to be Radford University students but they are encouraging students to recognize what’s going on with their financial aid and make a difference. “It would help greatly with the amount that the budget may not give us,” said Bender.
Recently, Virginia 21 has been in contact with local legislatures via Google hangout. A big step the Virginia 21 committee has taken recently is being considered for a Google hangout with President Obama. Bender and Virginia 21 Chief Executive Advisor, Logan Smith, were contacted via email about the contest being open to Virginia 21 members. The first step was coming up with and submitting a question explained Bender and Smith. Bender and Smith were notified that they were making it to the next round, “we got an email saying our chances to do it are about 1 in 20,” said Smith. In the meantime Bender and Smith have to submit a video presenting President Obama with their question. “He’s going see our faces, he’s going hear our question. So regardless if we actually get to talk to him, it’s going be in his mind,” explained Bender.
In hopes of getting everyone aware of the petition and Virginia 21, there will be an informational table set up in the Bonnie February 6th and 7th. The committee is encouraging anyone curious to come out and learn more. “That is the number one goal, we need support from students. They should know this is going on. They should know what’s going on with their financial aid,” explained Bender.
Virginia 21 meets every Tuesday 6-7 p.m. in room 210 in the Bonnie, and anyone is welcome. To get information through email you can contact Colby Bender (