Leaders shine in D.C. visit

Student Government Association President Christopher Harmon and Senior Class President Jared Evans recently participated in the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Civic Responsibility Conference in Washington. The theme for this year’s event was “The Best of the Best: Preparing the Next Generation of Federal STEM and Public Servants.” Harmon and Evans met with U.S. Senators Mary L. Landrieu and David Vitter as well as Congressmen Rodney Alexander and John Flemming in their offices on Capitol Hill.

One-hundred students from across the country are selected each year to go to Washington to participate in two days of workshops focusing on the underpinnings of the legislative process. The highlight of the event is the visits with elected officials.

Harmon and Evans went to Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress to discuss the impact that both the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and public HBCUs have made in their lives and the importance of HBCUs in today’s society.

They also discussed how Grambling and other HBCUs would be affected by the projected budget cuts for the upcoming fiscal year.

“We are very concerned about all the money that Grambling is expected to have to cut from next year’s budget,” Harmon said. “We are here to express our concerns and show that we care about the future of our school.”

In Sen. Landrieu’s Office, Harmon and Evans met with legislative correspondents Joshua Oliver and Angelique Koche. They also had the chance to meet with Grambling alumna Alicia Williams, who has over 20 years of Capitol Hill experience and currently serves as Sen. Landrieu’s office manager.

“Ms. Williams gave us a lot of insight into the daily functions and activities that take place on Capitol Hill,” Evans said.

“We have learned so much and are truly grateful and appreciative for this opportunity.”

While in Washington, the conference participants were able to tour several places of interest in Washington, including the Washington Navy Yard, the U.S. Naval Museum, the Department of Energy, and the Department of State.

They were also given the opportunity to meet with the U.S. Secretary of Energy, Dr. Steven Chu, who was recently appointed by President Barack Obama.

The TMCF Civic Responsibility Conference is a national program designed to introduce HBCU students interested in careers at the federal level or public service with the various government agencies.

All participating students are introduced to the legislative process and the executive branch of government.

To be selected to participate in the Conference, students must be a full-time student at one of the 47 member public HBCUs, have a demonstrated interest in a career in public service, have excellent written and verbal communication skills, and have a GPA of 3.0 or better.

Harmon is from Monroe and is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. Evans is a native of Natchitoches and currently works for state Rep. Rick Gallot. After graduation, Harmon will attend film school and Evans will attend law school at the Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge.