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

the Nation.

"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