Student trip to Capitol proves informative

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The student trip to the Indiana Capitol was successful because it was full of encouragement, talks on leadership and examples of real-life experience, Anna Duley, SGA vice president, said.

The trip on Feb. 5 was led by Tim Sanders, director of the Northwest Indiana Engagement Office. The trip was attended by 14 students, including SGA members and other interested students.

Riley Owens, chief of staff, who attended the annual trip once before, said he went because he believes all Americans should see how government is run and that he wanted to talk to representatives from Northwest Indiana.

“It affects each and every one of us because politicians are the ones who write the laws we live under,” Owens said.

The students met with Linda Lawson, state representative and first female police officer for the Hammond Police Department. Lawson spoke to the students about what it means to be in positions of leadership and some of the challenges leaders in government face. The students also talked to Frank Mrvan, state senator for District 1 and Hammond resident, and Suzanne Crouch, lieutenant governor.

The students also met Mara Candelaria Reardon, representative and first Latina elected to the Indiana House. She currently lives in Munster.

“She gave us a great chat about leadership, standing up for justice and some of the sacrifices you have to make for careers in government,” Duley said.

Duley, who has attended before, said the students also learned about what it means to be a lobbyist and their function as persuaders for certain legislature.

The students went to the Statehouse to observe a session and listen to some of the bills that were being discussed.

Owens said the House was discussing firearm licensing while the group was listening to a session. He said the discussion was interesting, but did not change his views much on the subject.

“As a future law enforcement officer, I found it shocking that some people still think that there should not be any licensing system for firearms,” Owens said.