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The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

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SGA participates in Higher Education Day

Courtesy+of+UNA+SGA.
Courtesy of UNA SGA.

Members of the University of North Alabama’s Student Government Association traveled to the Alabama Capitol to advocate for more funding in higher education. 

On Feb. 22, UNA students involved in SGA or Freshman Forum rode to Montgomery to participate in the annual Higher Education Day, hosted and organized by the Higher Education Partnership. There, these students got a chance to speak directly with legislators to create a connection between legislators and colleges and universities around the state.

“The purpose is to advocate for funding throughout the public institutions and universities,” said SGA President Amber Sandvig. “One big point that they talk about is the economic impact of funding higher education institutions. What we get to do is share our university story with legislators that we might meet along the way. A big part of it is advocacy. Really, we’re sharing our university story and why it’s impactful for legislators to fund higher education in our institution.”

The day begins with a parade, in which students from attending colleges and universities march around the capitol to represent their school. This march attracts the attention of government officials, who will often come outside to watch and cheer students on.

After the parade, each college or university’s SGA president, as well as each school’s mascot, stand together to sign a pledge board. This board signifies each school’s involvement in Higher Education Day and their advocacy for funding for their institution. 

“It’s a statement of unity, saying that we all agree that we should be funding higher education institutions,” Sandvig said. “We’re really trying to encourage legislators to see the value of a college degree and change the narrative. I think there’s a little bit of a narrative that goes around that says a degree isn’t worth the money that you pay for it anymore, so they’re really trying to change that narrative and say that they support higher education.”

Students then listen to a speech before having lunch with legislators. The lunch serves as a networking opportunity for students, allowing them to speak with government officials and explain why their college or university should be funded. 

During Higher Education Day, students are able to take charge and show their pride for their institution. 

“As an advisor, my goal is to give feedback and help guide them, but they are the ones who do the work,” said Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and SGA Advisor Dr. Tammy Jacques. “They did a very good job. They were very well-organized. They put a lot of thought into it to make it a meaningful experience for students who might not have ever been down there or met a legislator before. For them to be able to interact with people in politics who are making big decisions and are doing things that are good for the state, it’s a good experience for students to be able to get to interact, see how things work, get to be seen and represent the University of North Alabama in the best light possible. They did a great job. I’m very proud of them.”

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About the Contributor
Kelley Peters, Managing Editor
Kelley is a junior from Tupelo, Miss. who is majoring in English literature with a minor in applied linguistics. She is currently Managing Editor for The Flor-Ala. She has loved reading for as long as she can remember, which developed her love of storytelling and the English language. Her career goal is to become an English professor at a university. She was previously a volunteer writer in the Fall of 2021, became a Staff Writer in January of 2022 and moved to being News Editor in January of 2023.

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