UST to meet with legislators about importance of Minnesota State Grant Program

UST to meet with legislators about importance of Minnesota State Grant Program

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to sign up for St. Thomas "Day at the Capitol" on Thursday, March 12, and meet with legislators about the importance of the Minnesota State Grant Program.

The St. Thomas contingent will join forces with the College of St. Catherine and St. Olaf College for Day at the Capitol events, which will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This year, the State Grant Program is providing nearly $4.4 million in need-based financial aid to 1,269 St. Thomas undergraduate students who are Minnesota residents, for an average grant of $3,450.

Legislators this spring will set the state grant budget for the next two academic years. Gov. Tim Pawlenty has recommended that program funding be maintained at existing levels.

“It’s important that legislators hear from students about the importance of the grant program,” said Doug Hennes, vice president for university and government relations at St. Thomas. “The best way to do that is if students, especially grant recipients, faculty and staff, sign up for Day at the Capitol and meet with their legislators.”

The March 12 event will begin with a briefing conducted by Minnesota Private College Council staff members and St. Thomas alumni who are legislators or work at the Capitol. Participants then will meet with senators and representatives from their home districts before reconvening as a group to hear from legislative leaders and a representative from Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s office. Food and beverages will be provided, and St. Thomas will run a bus from the St. Paul campus to the Capitol and back.

People can sign up for Day at the Capitol until the end of February but are encouraged to do so as early as possible in order to give the MPCC staff members enough time to schedule meetings with legislators.

To sign up, go to Minnesota's Private Colleges' Web site and click on the “Sign Up for Day at the Capitol” link. Questions? Call Hennes, (651) 962-6402, or Dan Winckelmann, legislative senator for the Undergraduate Student Government, (651) 470-0152.