The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

Student Trip to Washington D.C. Aims To Forge Next Generation of Leaders


In a crowded student union conference room at Diablo Valley College earlier this month, student government leaders were busy selecting candidates to attend the American Student Association of Community Colleges (ASACC) National Student Advocacy Conference, happening March 16-19 in Washington, D.C.

The trip to the nation’s capital by Associated Students of DVC is about much more than taking a vacation, members said. 

“The importance of the Washington trip is that we take local student issues to the state level,” ASDVC President Ashley Alvarez told The Inquirer at the Nov. 7 meeting. 

In particular, she said, “one of the issues I have been thinking about is financial aid, expanding it, and the qualifications for students because not everyone gets easy access to [it].” 

Students were selected to attend the conference based on their racial, ethnic and gender backgrounds, as well as their voter status and speech scores within ASDVC. The goal is to send as diverse a set of individuals as possible to represent DVC at the conference. 

“The reason why we take a very diverse group is that we want to hear from all different perspectives and backgrounds,” said Alvarez.

And the broader aim, she added, is to help create the next generation of leaders here and beyond DVC. 

“We want to prioritize students that are not transferring,” said Alvarez. “Those leaders gain so much experience in Washington that we want them to bring back to DVC and be the next group of leaders.” 

While attending the spring conference, ASDVC members will also visit with representatives from Congress and tour national monuments, museums and other sites. The activities are intended to help give members a bird’s eye view of what goes on in the nation’s capital. 

ASACC is a national organization that provides advocacy and development opportunities for community college student government leaders — and the only student association of its kind giving students a chance to network and share their voices on national issues.

The conference, which has existed since 1984, is the largest and most diverse student meeting held annually in the nation’s capital, according to the ASACC website.

To be eligible for the conference, selected students must take part in four advocacy training sessions in February and March.

Alvarez emphasized that the trip is important because it gives future DVC leaders the opportunities to gain experience and grow. What students encounter in Washington will help them better understand and be able to address local issues more effectively, she said.

“If they know what’s going on on a bigger level,” said Alvarez, “they can tackle the smaller issues here.”

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Soren Stanton, Staff Writer

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