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Eleven students from Harford Community College were among the hundreds of students from community colleges around the state who took part in Student Advocacy Day 2020 in Annapolis on February 4, 2020. The students came together to thank lawmakers for their previous support, and also to discuss the harmful effects anticipated from Governor Larry Hogan's 2020 (Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act (BRFA).

"The BRFA would cut our community colleges' annual increase by 50%, and that's on top of a series of cuts over the recent economic recession," said Dr. Bernie Sadusky, executive director of the Maryland Association of Community Colleges. "We can understand funding cuts during bad economic times, but why this year? This year the state's economic vitality doesn't warrant it. The BRFA would also change our funding formula and make some forms of state support discretionary. It's very problematic."

Harford students who participated in Student Advocacy Day included Quindlan Bero, Jennifer Darby, Ethan Hevesy, Christina Johnson, Jauanecia Miller, Shreemyam Mishra, Riya Patel, Weiping Qin, Chante' Robertson-Gray, Patrick Voelker, and Gianna Wilcox. Also representing the College in Annapolis were Dr. Dianna G. Phillips, President of Harford Community College; Dr. Griselda Flores, Director for Student Life; Kurt Doan, Senior Executive Assistant to the President and Board of Trustees; Caitlin White, Student Leadership and Orientation Specialist; Lauren Ciambruschini, Communications Specialist; and Jessica Rafalko, Communications Specialist.

In the morning, students from each of the state's community colleges gathered for the kickoff of the event at the Miller Senate Office Building. After the gathering, students visited their respective local delegates and senators to learn more about Maryland political proceedings and to advocate for more robust state fiscal support of Maryland's community colleges. They shared their personal experiences and emphasized the importance and value of a community college education as well as its impact, not only on their future but also the future workforce of Maryland. Harford's team had the opportunity to meet with Senator Jason Gallion and Delegates Mike Griffith, Rick Impallaria, Teresa Reilly, and Kathy Szeliga.

The event was sponsored by Maryland Association of Community Colleges, an advocate for the state's 16 community colleges and the educational needs of the students they serve, to provide students with an opportunity for direct access to their legislators.

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