March 23, 2015

We Gather Here Today Having Taken Real Steps

By Hiatt Allen

My university takes pride in being named the most politically active school in the nation. You cannot escape politics as your friends, professors, and classmates are almost all politically engaged. I’ve had great political discussions in class and in my dorm that have been amazing and eye opening. While it’s great to be part of such a politically active community, something in the back of my head always tells me that the discussions we are having are futile and naive.

See at the end of the day, we are just students who are discussing these issues in a building on a college campus. Simply protesting and discussing these issues doesn’t accomplish anything of measurable value.

Whenever I see a campus protest, I wonder if students are simply protesting on the quad or if they have been seeking true action through legitimate channels. And I know most of these protests don’t. It takes a lot more than just a symbolic, visual presence to change the actions of decision makers.

The Student Voice Team, however, knows better. We have worked since December to change the superintendent screening law, always consulting with and working through adult allies to get what we want done. We worked with Representative Graham, Senator Wise, Senator Kerr, and Senator Thomas to get House Bill 236 to its current place. And we have made a concerted effort to work with the Senate Leadership, Senator Embry, and Senator Robinson to get the bill passed.

We don’t gather here today to have a naive protest. We gather here today having taken real steps to pass House Bill 236 to show the support behind the many months of work the Student Voice Team has invested. We have a voice and we have used it to get us to this position, but we only got here with the help of our adult allies.

Today, we stand with the students of this great Commonwealth having done the work to get our bill passed.

These remarks were deliverd at the Stand With Students Rally organized by the Student Voice Team on the steps of the capitol in Frankfort on March 23, 2015. The Rally called for the passage of House Bill 236, which would add student voting members to superintendent screening committees.

Hiatt Allen

Hiatt Allen

Hiatt is a Senior Advisor and a co-founder of KSVT. He was previously the Operations Partner and the Associate Student Director. Hiatt graduated from Tates Creek High School in 2014 and American University in 2017. He is a graduate student at the University of Chicago Divinity School & Harris School of Public Policy.