• Oregon’s Community Colleges Prepare to Convoy to the Capitol

    Colleges will rally with students, join together for statewide show of support on March 7

    March for Our Students
    MHCC students and staff at the March for Our Students event held at the Oregon State Capitol on Feb. 18, 2019.

    Oregon's community colleges will join together for a unique statewide event. On Thursday, March 7, the state’s two-year colleges, along with the Oregon Community College Association (OCCA), will rally with students and convoy to the capitol. The convoy will start at various locations across the state with the colleges meeting up in Salem at Noon.

    “This initiative was created to show that Oregon’s community colleges are all united in making sure our collective voices are heard in Salem,” Casey White-Zollman, president of the Oregon Community College Marketing and Public Relations group, said. “We work together throughout the year on many initiatives. Our shared goal is to make sure all of our institutions are adequately funded in order to keep tuition costs affordable and to best ensure student success.”

    The convoy was created as part of OCCA’s Legislative Days—a designated time during the Legislative Session for community college students and leaders to meet with their local legislators and raise awareness of the value community colleges have in Oregon.

    “This year is critical for community college funding,” OCCA’s Executive Director Cam Preus said. “To keep tuition increases to roughly 3.5 percent statewide in each year of the upcoming biennium, and to maintain current programs and services, Oregon’s 17 community colleges need $647 million in funding. We are also asking lawmakers for an additional $70 million for Career-Technical Education programs and $70 million for student success programs to support first-generation college students and those from underrepresented populations.”

    The colleges will meet at Chemeketa Community College at 11 a.m., then travel together and assemble on the capitol steps to walk around the building as a unified group. Individual meetings the colleges have scheduled with their local legislators will take place throughout the day. Legislators are invited to meet up with the colleges on the capitol steps at 12:30 p.m. for a group photo opportunity with students and participating college mascots.

    Community colleges north of Salem include:
    • Clatsop, Tillamook Bay, Oregon Coast, Portland, Mt. Hood, Clackamas, Chemeketa

    Community colleges south of Salem include:
    • Klamath, Rogue, Southwestern Oregon, Umpqua, Lane, Linn-Benton

    Community colleges east of Salem include:
    • Treasure Valley, Blue Mountain, Central Oregon, Columbia Gorge

    March for Our Students
    More than 4,000 people attended March for Our Students, which was organized by the Oregon Education Association.