A group of College of the Mainland students attended Community College Day at the capitol on Jan. 26.
A group of College of the Mainland students attended Community College Day at the capitol on Jan. 26. Students met with Rep. Terri Leo-Wilson and other lawmakers throughout the day and took a tour of the historic capitol building.

The hallways of the state capitol were a little more lively on Jan. 26 as 20 College of the Mainland (COM) students converged with hundreds of community college students and staff during Community College Day in Austin. In an ongoing effort through the Texas Association of Community Colleges, the event allows community college students to learn about state government, meet their state representatives and ask questions about issues affecting community college students.

For COM cybersecurity student, Brayton Lee, the day fueled his commitment to serve as an active participant in the government’s decision-making process.

“Being engaged is important,” said Lee. “It’s important to show our representatives that we are, in fact, a part of their constituency. By actually putting a face to the process itself, they can understand the people they represent.”

During the biannual event, students had the opportunity to meet with Sen. Mayes Middleton and Rep. Terri Leo-Wilson to discuss education and their role in the process. Students also toured the capitol, viewing the chambers where the state House of Representatives and state Senate meet.

“I really loved the architecture of the capitol,” said COM criminal justice student Kiera Moorehead. “I’m really interested in history, and seeing the buildings was really cool. I think it’s really important for students to know who is speaking for them at the capitol. Most of the people who we talked to represent the Galveston area, and that’s where I live. It’s really interesting to know what they’re going to do for us.”

For more than a decade, COM students have participated in the event as part of its ongoing commitment to furthering communication and collaboration between students, administration and the community. The opportunity serves as an opportunity for students to foster leadership development skills, learn more about the political process and gain a firsthand look at civic engagement.