Eight of the Associated Members of Central Oregon Community College took a trip to Washington, D.C. to attend training at the American Student Government Association conference.
ASCOCC Executive Members Matt Coito, Terry Link, Brenda Pierce, General Member John MacAuley, Honorary Members Chris March, and Carl Rockwell left Sept. 26. General Member Travis
Peden and ASCOCC Advisor Taran Underdal left Sept. 29. All members returned Oct. 3.
The cost of the trip was provided by ASCOCC Budget Coordinator Dustin Moore, who estimated it between $7,000 and $10,000.
Moore said the projected cost before the trip was between $16,000 and $17,000.
While some of the ASCOCC members arrived three days before the conference hoping to meet Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, and Oregon Congressman Greg Walden in Washington, they were unable to do so.
“We (ASCOCC members) tried to meet with them … but weren’t able to,” said Pierce. “We had a list of all the things we wanted to do, not necessarily all the things we could do.”
Underdal said that while Pierce had scheduled appointments, it was not very surprising that the members weren’t able to meet the elected officials.
“It was a lot out of their (ASCOCC members) hands … given the political climate in D.C.,” said Underdal.
The ASCOCC members however did get to meet with Walden’s people when they visited his office, said Pierce.
The members also went on tours of the Capitol, the Kennedy Center, and the Supreme Court during their days in Washington preceding the conference.
“It was cool seeing how different campuses ran things,” said Coito about the conference. “I was surprised by how organized we are … compared to some of the other student governments there.”
Pierce also commented on how ASCOCC impressed some of the other student governments attending the conference.
“A lot of the people there were amazed that we only have a group of six … that have accomplished what we’ve accomplished,” said Pierce. “And we got a lot of praise for The Voice.”
Underdal said although tiring, the conference was very informative and she learned a lot about advising a student government
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