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PJC students make case in Austin

Published or Revised March 04, 2005

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LOBBYING AUSTIN: These Paris Junior College students, representing all three campuses, recently traveled to Austin with their sponsors to witness the legislature in action and to encourage legislators to increase funding for two-year colleges. From left, (front) are sponsor Wendy Pitcock, Melissa Gantt of Greenville, Daniel Winn of Sulphur Springs, Deborah Whitney of Greenville, and Brodrick Barr of Paris. The back row includes PJC President Dr. Pamela Anglin, Patton Copeland of Bonham, Clayton Watkins of Bogata, Chris Seward of Sulphur Springs, Marcus Picks of Clarksville and sponsor Brad Gifford.

Eight Paris Junior College students had an opportunity recently to see the Texas Legislature in action and to voice their opinions on state issues to House and Senate members.

Accompanied by PJC President Dr. Pamela Anglin and sponsors Brad Gifford and Wendy Pitcock, the students joined hundreds of other two-year college students from across the state at the Capitol to champion the need for additional funding for community colleges.

Students from PJC represented the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, the Student Government Association, the African-American Student Union, and RotarAct, all organizations on the PJC system campuses.

State Senator Royce West of Dallas, an alumnus of Paris Junior College, welcomed the students at an early morning session in front of the Capitol. Students observed the legislative process from the gallery of the House and Senate before visiting with state officials.

PJC students took their concern for community college funding to State Representative Mark Homer of Paris, Senator Bob Deuell of Greenville, and State Representative Dan Flynn of Canton, They told legislators about how Paris Junior College has given them an opportunity to improve their lives. They explained the financial difficulties that many students face who, without a community college, would be unable to continue their education.

“Our students did an outstanding job of presenting their case to the legislators,” said Dr. Anglin. “They are, by far, our most effective lobbyists. It was good for our state officials to see the diversity among our students and to hear their stories.”

Attending the legislative session were Daniel Winn, PTK vice president, and Chris Seward, both of Sulphur Springs; Deborah Whitney, PTK vice president, and Melissa Gantt, historian, both of Greenville.

Also attending were AASU members Brodrick Barr of Paris and Marcus Picks of Clarksville, and Student Government Association and RotorAct members Clayton Watkins of Bogata and Patton Copeland of Bonham.

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