Jackson State SGA vice president Amanda Jones and representative Shiloh Coleman, as well as vice president for student services Brian Gann, traveled to Nashville for the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) Day on the Hill in March.
The annual spring event invites student leaders representing community and technical colleges from across the state to Capitol Hill in Nashville. There they have the opportunity to meet with members of the state legislature to discuss their higher education experiences, attend important committee meetings, and network with students from other parts of Tennessee.
“Opportunities such as Day on the Hill can provide students with an up-close look at public service and the important role of their college in the state,” said Gann. “It provides a greater level of exposure to the legislative process and can show students a pathway for leadership opportunities in their communities and their state.”
Jones and Coleman were able to meet 24th district state senator John Stevens to discuss higher education in Jackson State’s service area. “I don’t think there could have been a better person to interact with,” said Coleman, a psychology major with a minor in social work. Of the representatives she met, Coleman added, “They really take into consideration the needs of their people and the communities they serve.”
Both students remarked on the warm, engaging, and extremely respectful environment. “Everybody was smiling,” said Jones, a general studies major with an interest in fashion merchandising. “We had the chance to meet these people and realize that they are just people like you and me.”
“This experience made us realize we have a lot of great things happening at Jackson State,” said Jones, who stated she and Coleman brought back some ideas to improve the student club and organization experience at Jackson State. Looking ahead, she said, “I hope that all SGA members can attend in the future, and maybe some of our Criminal Justice majors as well.”
Aside from being a great item to put on a resume, Gann said, “Ultimately, we want students to walk away more knowledgeable and more interested in public service.” Coleman echoed this, adding the importance of the people we elect locally. She stated, “We are all here building one big community. We are our community.”