MSMS Representatives Seek Support from Legislators


Gina Nguyen

Chuck Yarborough is engaged in a conversation with State Senator.

Peter Nguyen, Entertainment Editor

On Wednesday, Feb. 6, MSMS students and administrators traveled to Jackson, Mississippi and lobbied for school funding at the Capitol.

Wednesday was a bright and early morning for 24 selected students and MSMS faculty as they set course to the Mississippi capitol. Annually, the school schedules a day to lobby for more funding and to show continued support for legislative matters regarding the school.

Prior to Capitol Day, MSMS students and faculty wrote personal letters to legislatures, inviting them to visit the rotunda at before they convened at 9:00 a.m.

“It was really cool that they [MSMS administration] divided the representatives with similarities in the students attending, and it was a good way create contact before we met them,”  Senior Lori Feng said.

Everyone in attendance greeted legislatures with smiles and breakfast, in the fashion of typical lobbyist behavior. Students were dressed in more formal attire, in contrast to prior years of MSMS dress, ready to present MSMS like a 30-second elevator pitch.

“I think just speaking to the legislatures, being able to verbalize how great MSMS is while being at the place of its birth and being able to continue MSMS, funding based, was the most rewarding experience of the visit,” said Senior Maria Kaltchenko.

Feng added that she had a unique experience while conversing with her district senator Gary Jackson.

“I really enjoyed meeting my Senator, Gary Jackson, and it was interesting because he tried finishing a Distinguished Young Woman (DYW) congratulatory declamation. He didn’t quite get to finishing it, but it was really cool to have him recognize DYW as an organization,” Feng said

Courtesy of Janie Shields
MSMS students participate in Capitol Day to lobby for more school funding.

After greeting legislatures in the rotunda, MSMS students and faculty filed into the House to spectate legislative procedures headed by Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves. Some of MSMS’s students were surprised to see how business was conducted in their own state.

“This was the first time I’ve been in the Capitol of our state, and seeing our legislation in action was really a learning experience that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to witness if I were at my home school,” Junior Esmond Tsang said.

Senior Samantha Anderson was intrigued by the transparency of voting procedures.

“It was cool to see our legislatures vote on different bills and to see on the big board where someone voted yes or no. It wasn’t at all what I expected where everyone would see what everyone else voted for,” Anderson said.

From an email sent from Dr. McConnell, the school hopes for a budget increase of at least $700,000 to help facilitate improvements.

“We must have our employees, students, alumni, parents and other constituents continuously speaking with one voice to advocate for the school,” Dr. McConnell stated from an email earlier that week.

McConnell’s priorities for the budget, in order, include the enhancement of MSMS’s Engineering and Computer Science program, an increase in student enrollment allowance, an expansion on the Outreach and Distance Learning Program and the security of funds for preplanning of new administration and academic building bonds to improve outdated facilities.

For more details about the priorities, check out the document here