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San Diego Community College students go to Washington, DC on a legislative mission

A delegation of leaders from the San Diego Community College District is on the way home from Washington, D.C. KPBS Education Reporter M.G. Perez tells us the group includes students who traveled to the nation’s capital looking for legislative change.

A delegation from the San Diego Community College District wrapped up a three-day legislative mission to Washington, D.C. on Wednesday.

The San Diego delegation included student body presidents from each of the district’s campuses.

They met with California members of Congress to talk face-to-face about federal funding. The student leaders want more money to pay for basic needs like affordable housing and food for college students barely surviving.


Saigeldeep Ghotra is a second-year student at Miramar College who grew up in a farming community in Merced. She wants changes to financial aid. She said there should not be just one standard for everyone in the country.

"The cost of living in the area where the student resides … rather than having a standard set for the whole nation because people live in different regions with different levels of income and poverty," Ghotra said.

The students arrived Sunday night for the annual tour featuring meetings with California lawmakers who can help make a difference in their educational lives.

Chancellor Greg Smith said in-person communication makes a difference.

“We find that having our students come and tell their personal stories takes us out of the realm of policy and puts it in the realm of human impact to what’s happening right now and our legislators responded positively to hearing those stories," Smith said.


The college students happened to find themselves in the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday when Congress debated the impeachment of Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. They got an earful while watching from the gallery.

Mesa College student Ixchel Valencia Diaz is a political science student, and had a view of real-life Capitol politics. She said, “I just remember feeling the tension when the clock was striking down onto their time to vote. Names were being yelled across the room from both sides yelling ... vote … vote. It was like a sports game."