WV Celebrates MU Day at the Capitol


Alaina Laster, Lead Reporter

The 2022 Marshall Day at the Capitol took place Feb. 8 when students and faculty gathered with legislators to show the programs and accomplishments of the university.

“At the core of what we are doing, is just representing Marshall to our state leaders,” said Matt James, assistant dean of student affairs. “it’s important because you know unless you are physically here and especially our students to be able to talk about their experiences on campus, not just their majors but what is it like to be a student at Marshall? What is the benefit of state support, state funding, and resources? So just continuing to be a voice for the school and to be an ambassador for the school.”

Several Marshall organizations gathered to speak with legislators and attendees about their plans and goals for the rest of the year. Student Body President Alyssa Parks brought up the statewide mental health proposal through WVU.

“We are also working on a green bandana initiative right now,” said Parks, “which is a mental health week of awareness to sign up for mental health first aid at different campuses across the state.”

According to Parks, students who go through training to better support their peers during mental health crises will receive a green a bandana denoting them as an ally of mental health. Parks sees this initiative as incredibly important now due to limited mental health resources and funding on campus. Funding for the green bandana initiative, though, comes through the Higher Education Policy Commission.

Parks also said that she is excited for student government to have the opportunity to interact with members of the House and Senate of West Virginia.

Funding for other programs in general proved a major topic at the event, especially for the Aviation Battery Research Institute. The program’s long-term goal is building a facility at the Charleston’s Yeager Airport costing approximately $10 million as an addition to the Bill Noe Flight School.

Another program to expand its existing facilities was the Marshall Collegiate Autism program. Marshall hopes to match funds of $1.25 million to accommodate the more than sixty people turn away by the program due to a lack of space.

Funds for street improvements were also highly discussed, as campus safety becomes an increasingly important issue. The university hopes to make it safer for pedestrians walking around campus— specifically 3rd Avenue, 5th Avenue, Hal Greer Boulevard and 20th Street—which will cost around $125,000.

Also at the Day at the Capitol, President Brad Smith spoke with many in attendance and explained his goals for the event.

“My goals today are to showcase the amazing talent we have at Marshall, the exciting programs that we offer students and the impact we have on the state. For every dollar the state invests in Marshall, we create a $12 economic impact, and we are going to make that even larger in the Future,” said Smith.