Catawba Students Heard in Raleigh

Jeremy Gardner, Writer

On Monday, April 4,  students from Dr. Bitzer’s State and Local Politics class headed to the state capitol to meet with local legislators who represent Rowan County. Along with Dr. Bitzer, the students left campus early Monday morning and drove until they reached the Legislative Building in Raleigh.

When they first arrived, the students met with State Senator Andrew Brock and discussed current issues. They also had a chance to ask questions about policy papers that are to be written in class. Issues such as the correctional department, redistricting, the state budget and personal/political beliefs were brought up. After having lunch with the Senator, and meeting several others while in the Legislative Cafeteria, the students took a tour of the legislative building. The tour included both the Senate Chamber, as well as the House Chamber. While in the Senate Chamber, Representative Fred Steen, representing the southern part of the county, took over and answered more questions. Then the students had a chance to meet with Representative Harry Warren, the “freshman” representative from Rowan County, representing Salisbury. He talked a little bit about his experiences as a new man in the legislature.

Catawba graduate Kevin Leonard, Class of 1995, met the students shortly after that. Leonard is a leader in the North Carolina County Commissioners Association. He is a major lobbyist on North Carolina’s version of Capitol Hill.

After spending a majority of the morning and afternoon meeting with representatives, the students and Dr. Bitzer toured the old capitol building.

State and Local Politics is a class that explores, in great detail, both state and local governments and how they communicate and work with the federal level of government. This trip to Raleigh was used as a way to connect the class to the real world.

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