UF students from several academic disciplines joined forces and traveled to the Ohio Statehouse for Independent College Day hosted by the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (AICUO) on Tuesday, Feb. 26.
Twelve students attended the conference, “Student Aid First,” with Sharinda Welton, director of student activities, Skylar Metter, assistant director of student activities, and Mary Beth Hammond, vice president 5/3 bank, Findlay, Ohio. Findlay was one of five schools to attend the conference.
“Our group represented majors from nuclear medicine, theatre, education, business, pre-vet and more,” said Chelsea Hall, junior law and liberal arts major. “While there, we set up a display representing the University so anyone walking through the state building could learn about what an amazing institution we have.”
AICUO works to provide opportunities to students of independent colleges and universities to meet with elected officials and discuss the current needs of enrolled students at private universities and colleges in Ohio. This year, students had the opportunity to discuss with state lawmakers how both state and institutional aid is used at the University.
“I personally met a handful of our congressmen and spoke directly with them about numerous topics important to me,” said Joe DeCosta, senior nuclear medicine major. “I felt empowered knowing that speaking to the congressmen wasn’t only a reflection on myself, but on the entire institution.”
The students discussed how many Findlay students receive various state funded scholarships including the Ohio College Opportunity Grant, Pell Grant, Ohio War Orphans and more.
“We wanted the legislators to realize that students in their district relied on the scholarship money to attend college and be able to then be members of society that gives back,” said Christina Terry, junior economics and marketing major. “We also spoke about each of us, our majors, what we want to do and our thoughts on the state budget.”
Each student also had the opportunity to speak about the programs offered at the University.
“I am very passionate about The University of Findlay and getting the invitation to go to Columbus and represent the diverse student body we have was an honor,” said Hall. “Together as a group, I think we made it clear that what we are doing here at UF is something that cannot be replicated anywhere else, especially at a public institution.”