MCALLEN, TEXAS . – Urging students at South Texas College to become a part of the voting process as Election Day nears, Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr., D-Brownsville, challenged them to create the world they want to live in by making their voice heard at the ballot box, regardless of party affiliation, he said.
Addressing a packed house comprised of students, faculty and administrators, Sen. Lucio hosted a town hall-style meeting with STC students on Oct. 18 speaking about the power of voting in order to shape the “economic future of the community”.
Student Government Association (SGA) representatives from three STC campuses including Pecan, Mid Valley and Starr County had the opportunity to ask Lucio pressing questions focused on current issues . He then fielded questions from students in the audience before being presented with a gavel by SGA students.
“If we participate in the (voting) process, we might live to see the world we really want to live in. My intention today is to make sure that this generation is the one that puts the puzzle together in this great country of ours,” Lucio said. “We are in this together, all of us, not only here in the Valley or the state of Texas, but in the entire country. We shouldn’t be fighting one another, and there shouldn’t be divisiveness.”
Often called the “father” of South Texas College, Lucio introduced the legislation that called for the creation of STC in 1993. Senate Bill 251 called for the creation of a college to serve Hidalgo and Starr Counties. In June of that year, then Texas Gov. Ann Richards signed the legislation creating South Texas Community College, converting the former Texas State Technical College campus in McAllen into a locally governed community college serving Hidalgo and Starr Counties.
Since that time, STC has seen steady growth in its student enrollment starting with 1,058 students in 1993 to more than 34,000 students by fall 2017.
“We are living a dream,” Lucio said referring to the impact of STC. “It’s one of high success, and one that can stay up with any other junior college in the nation. Wonderful things have happened, but they did not just happen. It took people coming together, and I love Dr. Reed’s approach of being inclusive, which means not only her staff or professors, but the student body as well, everyone coming together.”
“I would like to leave you with a strong message, and one that will hopefully inspire you, as I have been inspired by those I have depended on to guide me,” Lucio told attendees. “The important thing is to respect where we come from, who we are, respect ourselves and respect others.”