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Thursday, July 27, 2017

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Students, alumni speak to legislators at biennial Austin event


Nearly 200 students, administrators and alumni from UH and UH Victoria filed onto Texas State Capitol-bound buses at the Athletics-Alumni Center early Wednesday. Their mission: to advocate for legislation expanding funding to the University of Houston System.

After observing House and Senate proceedings in their respective chambers, the delegation moved to lunch at Texas institution, Scholz Garten, where the Spirit of Houston marching band played renditions of Cougar fight songs and System leadership made short speeches.

“It’s easy to ask for things, but everybody asks for things,” said Student Government Association president Shane Smith, who attended the Austin event. “It’s important to show why you’re asking for them and taking down the students—the whole reason the University exists—is kind of a good way to put a face with that request and show why the University of Houston is more deserving.”

Armed with fact sheets and thank-you gift bags, groups were assigned legislators with whom to meet. In those meetings, students advocated for issues the UH System hopes will be addressed by the 85th Texas Legislature.

“I think it’s important for the legislators to hear directly from students,” said Richard Walker, vice chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services. “That’s one of the most important components of coming today, to put a student voice to all those legislative agenda items that we have developed, because in the end students are the ones most impacted by the funding issues that we’re dealing with.”

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