May 08, 2013

Local Students Visit Senator Manchin in D.C. | WHAG

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Despite the rainy weather, students from a local West Virginia college had a special day trip to our nation's capital on Tuesday touring the area and meeting their political officials.

Mother nature could not put a damper on these students from Blue Ridge Community and Technical College in the eastern panhandle, as they got a chance to visit Washington D.C. and sit down with Senator Joe Manchin as part of a government class field trip.

"The beauty of being in the eastern panhandle is that we are not that far away, you can take the train and come over and visit with us. I just hope to continue to exercise that ability to seek government to give us the input of what they are hearing and seeing back home, so that's how we know," says Senator Joe Manchin.

"It's just been an honor. You see them on TV, it's nothing like coming here walking around and meeting them one on one. It's just been wonderful," says Darla Armstrong, a post-graduate student at Blue Ridge Community and TechnicalCollege.

Senator Manchin spoke about the importance of education and maintaining their personal budget. He also talked about immigration reform and gun laws.

"We talk about sensible background checks for criminals and people who have been mentally adjudicated, gone through the courts, found to be severe mental illness and should not have the ablilty to buy a gun at a gun show or a internet," says Senator Manchin.

"Most people don't know how government works, how bill becomes law. Most people don't participate, most people don't vote, so its important for students to understand how government works also to meet the people who make the decisions in this country," says Bill Lucht, a professor of psychology and government at Blue Ridge Community and Technical College.

The students also attended the Armed Services Committee hearing along with touring Capitol Hill. They also met with West Virginia Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito. They say it was a day they would never forget.

"The capital is beautiful, we have a beautiful capital. It was a great experience coming to DC, we got to tour the capital by the Congressional historian," says Tony Painter, a student at Blue Ridge Community and TechnicalCollege.

Six students from Blue Ridge Community and Technical College government class took the trip to Washington, D.C.

By:  Bejoy Joseph