Students Lunch with VA Governor McAuliffe

Photos by Lottye Lockhart

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe welcomed college journalists from across the Commonwealth to a luncheon at the Executive Mansion in Richmond on Wednesday, February 1st.

Junior Fareeha Rehman (President, Society of Professional Journalists) and Senior Lottye Lockhart (PR Coordinator, Student Media) represented Mason alongside peers from other Virginia colleges and universities.

During the three-course lunch that included lamb chops with polenta circles and opera cake, Governor McAuliffe discussed the future of Virginia’s economy and education and his thoughts on the job market for current college students. His goal, he said, is to get a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) book into the hands of every elementary school age Virginian.

Offering some advice on post-graduation jobs for college students and Virginia’s youth, McAuliffe said that he could not imagine doing something he did not love, and that high paying jobs in technology — especially cyber security — are readily available in the Commonwealth.

A portal has been created to provide easier access to tech job openings:

McAuliffe also spoke with the student journalists about recent political events, specifically the controversial executive order that bans entry to the United States from seven majority-Muslim nations and indefinitely suspends America’s acceptance of refugees from war-torn Syria. Rehman was able to share her own family’s experiences with religious discrimination, including the story of her father being unjustly held at a border checkpoint 10 years ago when anti-Muslim sentiments flared in the wake of 9/11.

The Governor, who recently added Virginia to the list of states challenging President Trump’s executive order in the courts, reiterated his firm belief that the ban is unconstitutional: “We defeated one monarchy 236 years ago, and we sure as heck ain’t going to create another one!”