Student Senate delays action on "Access Mason"

"Access Mason" was designed to encourage high school students to attend college (photo by John Irwin)
"Access Mason" was designed to encourage high school students to attend college (photo by John Irwin)

On Oct.10, a resolution to support the creation of a program, “Access Mason” failed 2-13 in Student Senate due to a lack of information about the program. Access Mason was designed to enlighten high school students, who otherwise might not be considering college as an option, into what  the experience of attending college is like, how they can afford it and the opportunities a college degree provides.

“The senate had some concerns about what Student Government’s role would be, which is why it ended up failing,” said Speaker Phil Abbruscato. “There were some questions that they had felt were not answered at the time the resolution was in second reading.”

Despite the failure of the resolution to pass, that does not mean the senate is opposed to an Access Mason program.

“[When] we fail a resolution, it’s just stating the senate is indifferent of the matter. It’s not saying we don’t support it,” said Speaker Pro-Tempore Evan Del Duke. “[The senate] would like to seek more information about it before making an accurate decision.”

Two and a half years ago, student government member Ebonie Gibbs began working on an initiative to develop into the current concept of the program today. She stated she was not surprised by the senate’s vote, but that it will not deter continued efforts to realize the program.

“[Our next step] is to talk with the leaders of student government as a whole. We’re going to have a meeting eventually and just talk about some of their concerns and if it seems suitable that another piece of legislation can go through, we’ll all work together to make sure that piece of legislation suits the needs of the essence of program.”

Abbruscato agrees that this resolution’s failure does not mean it is the end of the road for Access Mason.

“It’s not that we said no, it’s just that we did not say yes just yet,” Abbruscato said. “It’s a work in progress, and there are discussions that are happening daily about this whole thing.”

Gibbs said she believes Access Mason needs to exist for high school students who don’t think they have the opportunity to receive a college education.

“My whole goal is to just show everybody no matter what you go through in life, no matter what resources you did have, did not have, that college is always an option for everyone, especially for people who don’t believe, who have never seen it,” Gibbs said. “I want to see people believing in themselves and realizing that other people believe in them, too.”

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