Tech students spend day at Capitol

Students and administrators gathered Wednesday morning at the Georgia State Capitol to meet with legislators and learn about newly proposed resolutions that will affect the Institute.

“I really enjoyed this opportunity to network with my fellow classmates and important political figures alike,” said Lindsey Walton, a second-year BA major. “It was an amazing experience to meet people so passionate about Tech and supportive of legislation that would benefit the Institute.”
The morning began with a light breakfast and an address from Institute President “Bud” Peterson, who emphasized the importance of student involvement in the legislative process. He noted the many successful alumni that have gone on to serve as elected officials, including House Majority Leader Chip Rogers.

Rogers welcomed the Institute delegation and provided a brief overview of the House’s intentions for the current session. He highlighted the legislative branch’s support of a new policy that would enhance educational opportunity for Georgia’s students in line with Governor Deal’s recent pledge to focus on the state’s educational system.

Students were then invited to speak with the numerous officials that stopped by to greet the delegation, including representatives and senators from across the state. Participants discussed their opinions regarding pressing issues facing students and the Institute as a whole. The gathering also discussed the current objectives of the Institute and how these could be effectively and efficiently met during this legislative session.

Present in these discussions were administrators from the Office of Government and Community Relations, which is currently advocating a number of legislative priorities to state legislators. Chief among these is the addition of a new Engineered Biosystems Building to campus, requiring $59 million in bonds in addition to $34 million in private funding already raised. The building would provide 200,000 square feet of multidisciplinary research space for biosciences.

Other projects include securing $102.6 million in new formula funds to be shared among all USG institutions to support continued growth in credit hour enrollment, securing $50 million in repair and rehabilitation funding for aging facilities, and the strengthening of “B-Units” including the Enterprise Innovation Institute and the Georgia Tech Research Institute.

Capitol Jackets, an organization composed of alumni across the state and partners on campus concerned with representing the interests of Tech to legislative decision makers, was also present. Members expressed their support for continued cooperation between the Institute and lawmakers to continuously advance the success of the Institute’s objectives in the public sphere.