With the arrival of 2013 and the end of the 2012 campaigns, it seems that we can breathe a collective sigh of relief that we shall no longer be deluged with a host of advertisements and campaign volunteers. Not so fast Virginia! In our excitement and focus on national politics, we may have forgotten that local and state politics is not only alive and well, but constantly moving ahead regardless of our attention. The Virginia General Assembly convened on January 9th to begin its 2013 session and there is an upcoming gubernatorial election scheduled for November 5th.
Focusing on our goal of maintaining a relationship between the student body and the Virginia General Assembly, the Legislative Affairs committee made its annual UVA Day trip to Richmond two Mondays ago on January 14th. This year, we expanded the trip to include a small reception for alumni and local legislators, in addition to our usual meetings with various legislators. In meetings with various delegates and state senators, we expressed our concern regarding the ever-present issue of revenue, tuition, and the in-state/out-of-state ratio. We also spoke with many legislators regarding the student body’s general concern over the events of this summer. We urged Richmond to pass legislation promoting greater transparency from the Board of Visitors as well as expressed our support for student and faculty voting member. Such conversations between students and legislators are crucial for the General Assembly understand the concerns of students and we hope that this dialogue will continue well into the future. In the meantime, you don’t have to rely on us to converse with Richmond. If you have concerns and thoughts, contact your delegate or state senator directly!
Currently, we are working on an initiative to promote awareness for the upcoming gubernatorial election. Details have not been solidified yet, but be on the lookout for events in February and March.
Also, some may remember that we had planned a political humor event – a mock debate – last semester to celebrate the then-upcoming election. Alas, Hurricane Sandy forced us to delay that until future notice. We are hopeful that we can schedule another political humor event sometime in the spring, so be on the lookout for some comedy as well!
Best wishes and stay informed!
Yiyu George Wang and Megan Mohr