It’s final exam time in the world of state government. A new budget is due April 1st. In the days and weeks leading up to the deadline representatives of OCC went door-to-door, asking lawmakers for their continued support of the College.
OCC President Dr. Casey Crabill and Government Relations coordinator Susan Tormey led the last minute push. They were joined by students Hassina Adams, Maurice Brown, Heather Flewelling and Chloe Hoffman who are members of the Politics Club.
During their own version of “March Madness” OCC representatives visited the offices of State Senators John DeFrancisco (R, C, IP – 50th) and David Valesky (D, IP – 53rd) along with Assembly members Pamela J. Hunter (D – 128th), William B. Magnarelli (D – 129th) and Al Stirpe (D – 127th).
“It’s interesting when you meet with politicians because they have the power of the purse,” said Brown. “We advocated for the school, talked about what the college has and what the college needs. It was interesting to see the dynamic.”
Flewelling enjoyed the chance to lobby on OCC’s behalf. “It was an incredible opportunity to see the support our school gets from Assemblywoman Pam Hunter and to share how Onondaga Community College has inspired me. This experience showed me how important it is in today’s world to advocate for others and for ourselves.”
“This was an experience I was grateful to be a part of,” said Hoffman, a 2015 graduate of Fayetteville-Manlius High School. “I tried to provide legislators with a real student’s experience. I let them know the opportunities OCC has presented me with. I don’t think I’d be where I am today without coming to OCC and I really wanted the local representatives to understand that.”
Adams also appreciated the opportunity to get involved. “Meeting Assemblywoman Pam Hunter was an amazing experience because I got the opportunity to talk about my experiences on campus while addressing some of the challenges that most students encounter. I got to see how much of an impact student voices can make and that the more engaged we are on matters that affect our education, the more change we can enact as a student body.”