Hamline News

Hamline Students Lobby at the Capitol

Hamline Students lobbying at the capitol

On Wednesday, February 13, Hamline students took the short trip to downtown Saint Paul to advocate for the Minnesota State Grant, a grant that makes it possible for many Pipers to attend Hamline.

Hamline Day at the Capitol is set aside for students to visit the Minnesota State Capitol and talk directly to legislators and advocate to increase the Minnesota State Grant by $92 million. Increasing funds to this grant would broaden its reach to 10,000 more students who struggle to cover the costs of attending a higher education institutions. This is part of an annual event in which Hamline pairs up with other colleges in the Minnesota Private Colleges Council.

The Minnesota State Grant makes it possible for students of low and middle class backgrounds to attend college without taking on a huge financial burden.
It covers students from private colleges, public colleges and universities. According to the Minnesota Private College Council (MPCC) more than 80,000, or 1 in 4 college undergrads from the state, receive this grant. The MPCC asserts that by advocating for this grant, Minnesota is investing in the future of students and the workforce by increasing overall college attendance and graduation rate.

“At Hamline, over 40 percent of our students receive the grant and on average each student receives about $5,000 each year.” said Hamline Undergraduate Student Congress (HUSC) President Liam Temple. “With the cost of college rising faster than it ever has before, it's imperative that we advocate for things that can help take the burden off students, and that's exactly what the Minnesota State Grant does.”

Temple also explained that the best way to reach legislators is to meet and share your own story.

"It was a great experience and showed how...important it is to speak out and meet with legislators,” said Temple. “The best way to make an impact is to share your story to the elected officials that represent you.”

Senior Grace Bauer visited with State Representative for District 54B Tony Jurgens to share her story about why the Minnesota State Grant is important to her.

“I feel strongly about the state grant program because I have many siblings and I wouldn’t be able to attend my dream school (Hamline) without all the financial aid I receive.” said Bauer. “The increase in funding would allow more students to be eligible, thus allowing for more students to go to their dream school.”

For some Hamline students, going to the capitol was about more than funding college, it was also about participating in democracy.

“The day at the capitol shows that one person can in fact have a voice in government that can change peoples' minds. Other people should realize this and take advantage of our democratic process,” said first-year Theresa Kallmes.

2/15/19

Written by Emma Larson