OSU Day makes legislators see orange and black
By MITCH LIES
SALEM -- Oregon State University sophomore Erin Schenk came to the Capitol April 17 to tout the benefits of a bill that adds funds to the university's fermentation sciences program and participate in OSU Day.
"It's going well," she said of her lobbying after meeting with an aide to Rep. Jennifer Williamson, D-Portland. "I talked about the influence the funding would have on the program."
Schenk, a food sciences major, is an incoming "ambassador" for OSU's agriculture, forestry and natural resources programs.
"We are the face of the colleges," said senior forestry major Todd Bertwell, who is one of 11 current ambassadors.
Junior Elli Vanderzanden, an animal sciences major and an ambassador, said she came to Salem to advocate for the university's statewide public services.
Under a funding proposal forwarded by legislators, the Experiment Station, Extension Service and Forest Research Laboratory will receive about $1.3 million short of what is needed to maintain current service levels.
"Without that money, programs like 4-H would face cuts," she said.
Vanderzanden, who works out of the state 4-H office on the OSU campus, said 4-H administrators and volunteers are already carrying a heavy load. Cuts in staff, she said, could significantly reduce what 4-H offers.
Sophomore Emily Krazberger, an animal sciences major and an ambassador, said she was concerned about how the cuts could affect the North Willamette Research and Extension Center.
"We use the station a lot," she said.
The natural resource sciences students were among 150 students and 100 alumni, faculty, staff and other OSU advocates participating in OSU Day .
The participants staffed 18 displays describing the colleges and programs offered through the university.
"It's been great," said Heather Bene, government relations associate for the university. "It's been crazy because lots of stuff is going on, getting people in and out of meetings and showing the depth and breadth of our programs.
"Crazy, but wonderful," she said.