SPRINGFIELD, Ill. | South Suburban College students traveled on April 3 to Springfield to participate in Student Advocacy Day and Legislative Awareness Day.
Students from the college’s Student Life & Leadership Department, Student Government, and Division of Adult Education worked together as the events were set up for the same day this year. The students visited legislators to advocate specifically for funding for adult education programs and MAP, or Monetary Award Program. They also promoted SSC’s important role in College District 510 and the critical importance state funding plays in assisting residents who need the college’s programs and services.
The students made the trip representing SSC along with Don Manning, president; Patrice Burton, dean of Student Services; Rebecca Garcia, student trustee; Christopher McElroy, volunteer literacy coordinator and transitions coach; Erica Humphrey, ABE/ASE evening coordinator; and Arkeytta Johnson, ICAPS instructor.
Student representatives from almost all 48 community colleges were in attendance for both Student Advocacy Day and Legislative Awareness Day, organized respectively by the Illinois Community College Board Student Advisory Committee , and the Illinois Adult & Continuing Education Association. SSC was the only college with a collaboration of this nature and had one of the largest groups in attendance.
“Serving as vice chair to the ICCB-SAC this past year was amazing, but the icing on the cake was being with so many students I represent at SSC in Springfield today,” said Student Trustee Garcia. “We were advocating for what we believe in — that community colleges are extremely important, and without them we wouldn’t be where we are today.”
The SSC group met with the following legislators along the way: Sen. Michael Hastings, D-Matteson; Rep. Marcus Evans, D-Chicago; Rep. Will Davis, D-Homewood, who also introduced the SSC contingent on the House floor; Rep. Al Riley, D-Olympia Fields, and Sen. Napoleon Harris, D-Flossmoor. Rep. Thaddeus Jones, D-Calumet City, was not available but provided the SSC student advocates with lunch.
“I am so proud of our students for passionately playing a role in some very important issues and decisions that are being made right now in Springfield," Manning said. "I would also like to thank our south suburban legislators for taking the time to meet with our advocacy group and to help educate them on the process.”
SSC is located at 15800 S. State St. in South Holland.