GM Students have conversation with Senator Leahy

Post date: Oct 8, 2015 3:39:01 PM

Senator Patrick Leahy made a guest appearance at Green Mountain on Wednesday, October 7th. The Senator visited five students via Skype. Through video conference, the GM Leadership students were able to ask the Senator questions, and answer his queries. When Skylar Dailey asked why he had become a senator, Leahy responded: “I can do more in the Senate for Vermont than I could in any other job.” He went on to explain that when he was first elected there were no women in the Senate. Now, he says, “the Senate is a lot better place because we have more women in it.”

Lexi White asked Mr. Leahy about opportunities for “student voice” in government. According to the Senator, “in Vermont government officials are very accessible.” He urged our students to take advantage of this and to get in touch with himself, Rep. Welch, Sen. Sanders, and our local elected officials. He talked about the Organic Farm Bill which he wrote after he was approached by a Vermonter who wanted to start a farm.

“We would like to come back and live and work in Vermont. Are there talks at the federal level about creating sustainable jobs in rural communities like the ones in Vermont?,” asked Skylar White. Senator Leahy expressed how important this is for him as a Vermonter and a grandfather. He pointed to jobs created in the tech industry and to the Vermont Center for Emerging Technology as examples of work in this area.

Sara Ripley asked the senator about gun violence in our country. Leahy says that as a former prosecutor he has visited crime scenes and knows what violence looks like. He is in favor of mandatory background checks for gun buyers and for closing the gun show loophole.

Hanna Veysey asked the final question: “Are the Congress and Senate working on any initiatives to help college become more affordable for all students?” Leahy responded that he would fight for students: “If we can afford wars all over the world, we can afford to engage students in this country.”

Before he went offline, Mr. Ferenc asked Senator Leahy what advice he had for students. He urged them to read: “Read because you enjoy reading!” He also encouraged students to get involved, to volunteer for campaigns, and to keep in touch by emailing or calling his office. Students were charmed by Senator Leahy, and he was clearly charmed by our students.