Marcel, left, with fellow student advocate George Archundia ’17, outside the State Capitol in Albany
Marcel Dupuis ’17 is an accounting major and soccer player at Utica College. On Tuesday, Feb. 14, he visited the Capitol in Albany for Student Advocacy Day, where he and other UC representatives spoke with state legislators about college affordability, opportunity programs, and school choice. Here, Marcel shares his experience:
Why did you get involved with Student Advocacy Day?
I wanted to attend Student Advocacy day because I thought it would be important to voice the opinion of the school. Some people don’t have such an outgoing personality and wouldn’t be able to talk to someone with such status as a Senator, so it was an honor to talk on behalf of Utica and other small college institutions. Issues of student aid affect a plethora of students statewide, and they need to be talked about and discussed in order to have the best outcome possible for all parties.
Why are student aid and opportunity programs so important?
The aid we receive is vital to many students and their families. It’s important because not all families can afford to front the money for their kids to attend college, and in today’s society a college degree is required to apply for many jobs. Aid helps level the playing field in a sense, and makes earning a degree more affordable.
What did you learn from your experience in Albany?
I obviously learned how much it means to many students to have the financial aid from the government and from other scholarships. However, I also learned how important it is for lawmakers. Most of the lawmakers we talked to seemed to have a similar view on the situation; with the way the Governor Cuomo has proposed the free tuition plan, there are flaws that need to be ironed out.
Overall, it was an honor to be invited and represent Utica College and other small institutions, and I would absolutely do it again.