A.S. lobbies in D.C.
Associated Students directors
traveled cross-country to lobby for
vital student isssues.
"In an effort to ensure that Rep.
Waxman listened, the Associated
Students of SMC flew to his national
office in Washington, D.C., with the
expressed purpose of securing his
support on community college
issues, but more importantly to
ensure that he was aware of the
crisis looming over education,"
said Jeronimo Saldana, A.S.
president of SMC. He is also
credited with bringing the only
other community colleges to the
conference, Pasadena City College
and El Camino College.
The United States Student
Association conference held
workshops dealing with issues like
the Higher Education Act, working
to make education more accessible
and affordable, Dream Act and Social
"I became well informed on various
financial aid programs for students,"
said Nehemiah Slaughter, director of
financial support. "I definitely intend
on making a packet and handouts
that USSA provided us that will be
available to SMC students," he
The overall goal of the USSA,
was to prepare students to lobby.
"I didn't really know what lobbying
was before," said Sadia Afolabi,
director of instructional support.
"It was very important for us to
go because if we don't go, who's
going to go? Students elected us
to represent the student body. We
made an impact," she said.
"If you are unhappy with the
way our government handles
issues that affect us, going to this
conference is a great way to prepare
you to lobby," said Saldana.
The more than 50 campuses
that attended "brought a lot of
energy and knowledge to D.C.
SMC is a great contibutor to the
organization," said Ajita Talwalker,
president of USSA.
The association awarded SMC
the title of Best New College in
"SMC is one of our most
active colleges. They helped
register voters, contributed through
the grassroots organization and
was a great host for our board
meeting," said Eduardo Morales,
vice president of the USSA.
"The award is great motivation
to work even harder. SMC deserved
it. It a great institution," said
Tasneem Noor, director of student