Texas Tech University

Red Raiders Represent on Capitol Hill

Jenae Fleming

April 7, 2016


Student Government Association officers attended the Big 12 on the Hill conference.


Texas Tech University's Student Government Association (SGA) sent students to attend Big 12 on the Hill, a seminar that gives student leaders at schools in the Big 12 Conference the opportunity to advocate on behalf of their school's undergraduate and graduate students' needs.

Texas Tech sent seven SGA representatives to the forum: Emily Latham, Holton Westbrook, Amber Yanez, Caleb Fisher, Saba Nafees, Sarah Berry and Tanner Culp. These students promoted the undergraduate application process, college affordability and campus safety and wellness.

Missi Currier, director of external relations at Texas Tech, said she is very proud of how the students represented Texas Tech at the event, which took place Feb. 29 to March 2 in Washington, D.C.

Meeting with Congressman Randy Neugebauer

“They showed professionalism, knowledge and compassion for their fellow students while at the conference,” Currier said. “They are great advocates for the Big 12 and especially our school. I was proud to watch our Red Raiders in action on the Hill.”

The students met with the Texas delegation, congressional members and staff, education committees and members representing other Big 12 universities.

Berry, SGA director of political affairs, said she enjoyed sharing experiences with representatives from other schools.

“Having all of the universities from the Big 12 work together to advocate for the same issues allowed us to have a stronger presence on the Hill and hopefully be more successful in the long run,” Berry said.

Meeting with Congressman Joaquin Castro

Meeting with the representatives was a great way for the Big 12 schools to discuss the future of higher education.

“We had the opportunity to not only meet with staffers, but the congressmen and women themselves,” Berry said. “They actually made the time to sit down and listen to the current issues college students face today, and that was a very special experience.”

Nafees, vice president for graduate affairs, said her favorite part was learning from the offices of congressmen and women. They said hearing stories from students across the nation is a very effective way of advocating on key issues in higher education.

“They shared the fact they receive many letters and emails from constituents across the country, but coming in person, as a uniform group of young leaders, speaks volumes to them and makes their jobs all the more rewarding,” Nafees said. “It was a humbling experience to advocate on behalf of Texas Tech students and combine forces with representatives from other Big 12 universities.”