Students Meet with Local and State Officials

Rio Grande, OH- Rio students from the American State Government class recently traveled to the West Virginia Statehouse in Charleston, West Virginia and the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio. At the West Virginia Statehouse, students met with Delegate Steve Westfall who represents the 12th District located in Ripley, WV. They were given a guided tour of the executive branch offices, the lower House of Delegates chamber, the Senate chamber, and the State Supreme Court.  The students were briefed on the various duties and responsibilities of a delegate and state senator as well as their term lengths, how often they meet during the year, the laws of West Virginia, and the possible internships they could apply for.  After visiting the state capitol, the students traveled to Ripley, WV where they met with Mayor Carolyn Rader who briefed the students on city government, the duties of the city council, and the ordinances that West Virginia municipalities follow.

At the Ohio Statehouse, students met with Senator Bob Peterson who represents the 17th Senate District and Representative Dan Troy who represents the 60th Congressional District. They learned more about current bills that are making their way through the legislative process and the redistricting process that is happening in the state. Following the meetings with the legislators, students were given a guided tour of the statehouse where they saw the House of Delegates chamber, Senate Chamber, and the Capitol Rotunda.

Jayce Phillips, a communications major at Rio stated, “the visits were very impactful because I learned the differences and similarities in how the local and state governments govern between West Virginia and my home state of Ohio. As a communications major with a focus on political science, I learned about how frequently legislators connect with their constituents and the news media.” Phillips continued, “I am very grateful for the visit and look forward to learning more about government operations.

Jaxon Harris, a political science major at Rio stated, “As both a West Virginian and Political Science major it was very interesting to learn more about the political progression made in the state since its succession from Virginia in 1863.” Harris continued, “It was truly a great experience, and I am hopeful that more classes are able to do the same in the future at URG.”

The American State Government class will visit the Ohio Statehouse in November to be recognized by Representative Jason Stephens (93rd Congressional District).


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