Newman students talk with legislators in Topeka

Feb 23, 2017
KICA Day at the Capitol
l-r: Jacob Hobbie, Hibah Ullah, Levi Esses, and James Leggett

Newman University attended the KICA Student Day at the Kansas State Capitol on Feb. 13, 2017. The event is sponsored by the Kansas Independent College Association (KICA). It is an opportunity for independent colleges all across Kansas to lobby and gather interest for themselves and speak to state legislatures. Representing Newman University at the event were students Jacob Hobbie, Hibah Ullah, James Leggett, and Dean of Students Levi Esses.

Hobbie, junior, is a member of the Student Government Association (SGA) – an student organization that represents the voice of the student body and conveys their needs to the faculty and administration. Hobbie said his experience at the event was fun.

“It was interesting talking to all these senators and representatives, figuring out sort of how their lives work too, as well as just talking business and what not,” Hobbie said. “In fact, one of my favorite senators – he doesn’t make enough money to support his family just with his job alone, so he works. He’s an adjunct professor and an Uber driver on the weekends. It’s pretty crazy how little these guys make.”

Hobbie relates the importance of state-sponsored student financial assistance to his personal life.

“I definitely feel like we pushed for scholarships for people who may not have perfect background lives,” Hobbie said. “For instance, my mom is a single parent, so without some of these grants that the State of Kansas provides to me, I wouldn’t be going to college. I think we push for those rights and I think I also learned a little bit more about just how Kansas government works, and I have a new healthy respect for it.”

“It was really great!” Leggett said about the event. “We got to meet with several legislatures and found out some of the things that they have to go through in order to try and get legislation put through. The processes is a heavy deal sometimes.”

Leggett said he received “a better understanding of the importance of the funding we receive through the grants that they vote at the [State Capitol] and how important it is for us to represent and let the legislatures know that this is helping. The statistics that we learned about how much of that funding goes to help graduates, to help people get bachelors degrees, and go out into the work force, has a bit of an impact.”