This past week, UConn students and faculty spent time testifying members of the Appropriations Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly to advocate for the budget of the University of Connecticut for the upcoming fiscal year. Students and faculty ranged in backgrounds, departments and key speaking points, however they all discussed how the university has changed their lives for the better. As students and hopefully future alumni of this university, it is important that UConn remains to have a strong budget to sustain itself, and these members of our community helped to make this happen by delivering powerful messages in support of our school.
Members of the UConn community from all campuses, including UConn Health, were present at the meeting and all shared powerful stories describing how their experiences at our university have shaped them. For example, students described how they found new passions through their time at the university or became more empowered in tackling their old passions. Patrick Hocking, a fourth-semester biomedical engineering student, spoke about his passion for entrepreneurship, and how this became recognized through interactions with UConn faculty
Additionally, UConn Health students spoke about the way the university has shaped their experiences and opportunities through medical school. Roshni Patel, a fourth-year medical student described opportunities provided to her through UConn’s medical school that allow her to gain experience in working in urban and underserved locations. Through this program, students have become familiar with issues facing these populations and have developed a desire to work with them in their future medical careers. These experiences are often unique to an education within the University of Connecticut, and this point was clearly presented to the general assembly members.
The wide range of students involved in promoting the university and advocating for both their education and the education of future UConn classes, shows the passion and love that students have for our community. As most students would agree, the University of Connecticut is an extraordinary place where people from all walks of life come together to support a common cause: To make the most of our education and provide for a brighter future. The diversity in stories and personalities that testified in Hartford is a testament to this. We should be proud of our university for embracing the extraordinary members of our community, and be grateful to those that testified on everyone’s behalf. With bright, passionate individuals advocating for the future of our school, we should be confident that we will have a budget that sustains its greatness.