A recent visit to the Senate is an experience St. Augustine’s College (SAC) student Sara Williams said will be one to remember.
Sara was among an eight-member group consisting of SAC student council, as well as the debate team, to attend the Upper Chamber.
“The experience has inspired me by reminding me that it is possible for me to become a leader in my country and make an impact that is greater than myself through participating in debates, conversations and community-building projects that will result in the betterment of my country,” said the student council secretary.
“We were given the opportunity to sit in on the debate taking place. It was most informative and exciting to experience a meeting with such well-versed and articulate individuals,” said Sara.
She was joined by her peers Kobe Forbes, Otto Laing, Sierra Joseph, Alexis Godet, Tiara Stubbs, Jee’Von Pratt, and Steven Armbrister. The students were accompanied by Terrance Pratt, SAC English head of department.
They were introduced to Senate President Lashell Adderley, and Senate Vice President Barry Griffin, an alumnus of SAC.
“I’ve never watched a Senate meeting before, so I learned how discussions were carried out in the bill-passing process,” said Kobe, student council president. “I also learned how to better articulate when participating in speech and debate competitions.”
In addition to being able to sit in on a meeting, the students were given a tour of the Senate Building.
Pratt said the Senate appearance also served as a history lesson for the students as they were able to view paintings of past monarchs, governors-general and Senate presidents.
Kobe said he stood in the Senate room in awe as he took in the authentic paintings.
During the visit, the students also learned Adderley is the sixth female Senate president.
“The students were especially proud to see SAC alumni among the senators. The Honorable Barry Griffin, the youngest vice president of the Senate in the history of the Senate; the Honorable Michael Halkitis, leader of government business in the Senate, and the Honorable Dr. Erecia Hepburn are all SAC alumni,” said Pratt.
Sierra, SAC’s student council treasurer, said the visit and seeing Griffin, who was a member of the class of 2005, in that capacity, allowed her to see that with hard work, anything is possible.
The Senate vice president said having the SAC students attend the Upper Chamber was a “full-circle moment” for him, as he remembers his days as vice president of SAC’s student council.