About 120 students from the University of Washington took a day off from school to lobby at the Capitol Thursday. The Huskies pushed the Dream Act and a bill preventing differential tuition.
The students expressed their support of extending financial aid to undocumented immigrant students and thanked legislators for passing the Dream Act, known in the Senate as the Real Hope Act.
Also, the students pushed House Bill 1043, which prohibits state universities from allowing differential tuition, which is a tuition rate based on a student’s major. Amber Amim, a student majoring in informatics and applied math at UW, raised concerns that math and science students would have to pay more if it were allowed.
The bill to prohibit differential tuition passed in the House at the start of the session.
But the value of lobby day goes beyond these particular issues, said Jillian Celich, a senior at UW and ASUW employee.
“It’s important for students to tell their personal stories to lawmakers. There needs to be a stronger voice for higher education,” Celich said.
Rep. Marcus Riccelli, D-Spokane, spoke at the Capitol steps and encouraged the crowd of student lobbyists to stay involved with the legislative process after lobby day.
His final words: “Think bigger than just today.”