Feb. 13, 2007 -- Twenty University of Virginia students, including members of the Student Council Legislative Affairs Committee, met with Gov. Timothy Kaine and local representatives in Richmond on Feb. 5. The trip, billed as “U.Va. Day at the Virginia General Assembly” was intended to promote stronger relations with the General Assembly and greater civic engagement among University students.
“It is very important for students to get involved in politics,” said Legislative Affairs co-chair Todd Eley. “We hope that this trip will serve as a means for students to become more engaged in state politics and learn more about how the General Assembly works.”
U.Va Day was the first event of this scale organized by the Student Council during a General Assembly session, Eley said. The Council's Legislative Affairs Committee saw U.Va. Day as an opportunity to speak directly to legislators about the issues of greatest concern to students.
"Governor Kaine was very engaging and shed light on issues of higher education in the broader context issues affecting all of Virginia,” Eley said. “I felt reassured about his statements on not allowing the transportation funding issue to negatively affect higher education and other programs financed with general funds.”
Students also met with Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, a Democrat from the 25th District which includes all of the cities of Charlottesville, Covington and Buena Vista, all of Bath, Alleghany and Nelson counties and part of Albemarle, Buckingham, and Rockbridge counties, and Sen. H. Russell Potts Jr., a Republican from the 27th District which covers all of Clarke and Frederick counties and Winchester city, as well as part of Loudon and Fauquier counties. Eley said the senators “provided great insight into what drives members of the General Assembly and how they think about issues facing the state. It was great that they could take time out of committee hearings and their other duties to meet with us.”
Some students also had an opportunity to met with their individual representatives.
“I was excited with how the day went and I believe the students really enjoyed participating,” Eley said.