On Tuesday, 76 students traveled to Albany to lobby state senators and assemblymen on behalf of the college. If you want to know more about the details of the trip, there's an article for you in the news section.
This column, on the other hand, is a call to arms, not just for students but for parents of students, for residents of the town and for the alumni who follow The Lamron online and who owe their careers to Geneseo: It's time to make some noise.
I had the pleasure of taking part in a discussion with Democrat Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, chair of the Higher Education Committee. The HEC is a standing committee of the state assembly that coordinates policies regarding the State University of New York system. During the conversation, which had centered on the need for SUNY campuses to have flexible tuition policies and a host of other talking points, Glick brought up a highly important point: The only people who lobby for Geneseo are those directly and immediately involved with the school.
Students go to Albany periodically to talk to senators, President Christopher Dahl has been in Glick's office before and occasionally representatives hear from Geneseo faculty, but the fact remains that there are far more interests that go unvoiced, interests that are intrinsically invested in the continuation of the college, both in fact and in quality.
Residents of Geneseo: Write letters on behalf of the college. It's obvious but generally left unsaid that the town of Geneseo would not exist as it does now without the presence of the college. The Inn Between, Mama Mia's, The Statesmen, Muddy Waters; essentially every business in town depends on student business to stay afloat. Without us, or with fewer of us, your businesses – and the town – would find themselves in the same dire straits as struggling businesses in small towns across Western New York. This is the Rust Belt, and without the college, Geneseo would rust.
Parents, your children are receiving a fantastic education at a fraction of its value, a fact that must sit in the backs of all your minds at the beginning of each semester. Write to your assemblymen and senators, tell them in no uncertain terms that your child benefits from Geneseo and that Geneseo must be allowed to maintain its stellar quality.
Alumni, where have you gone? Think back to Geneseo, remember the good times (forget the bad ones, if you like), remember your educations and pick up the phone. It doesn't take much effort to help your alma mater, and those of us who are still here would greatly appreciate it. Open your mouths and tell the state you love Geneseo.
Really, it's as easy as that. Geneseo and the SUNY system as a whole need a stronger voice. Students and faculty alone aren't going to cut it this time. So if you care about Geneseo, if the college has affected you in any positive way, pick up a phone or a pen and tell the state government that Geneseo deserves your support.