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Message From The Chair (Outgoing)
Submitted by: Andrea Cipolla
As I look back over the last year, I think of all the things we accomplished as an association, an industry, as a community.
Our Federal Relations committee did another great job this year keeping us abreast of all changes. I attended the EASFAA conference and was listening to a Congressman speaking at one of the general sessions. He said something that really got under my skin. He said that when health care was on the floor, they got letters from senior citizens; when defense spending was getting cut, they heard from the members of military and defense contractors. But when Pell was in danger, they did not hear from one student. My point is that they did hear from financial aid administrators, so they did hear from the students. We are the voice of our students when they can't speak for themselves. Unfortunately, I could not find my voice that day.
That is my goal for myself and challenge for all of you. I need to make my voice heard. We all need to encourage our students to make their voices heard. The spending cuts in education are not in the media. Our students have no way of knowing what is really going on unless we tell them.
With all that happened over the year I wondered why we bother; we can't possibly help every student. We have all felt the stress, been tired and cranky, and had our share of not-so-uplifting moments with students and their families. However, we don't have to look very far to be reminded why we love what we do. If you help at least one student or one colleague, then you have made a difference.
I thank you again for allowing me to serve as Chair this past year. I look forward to continuing to serve the association in any way possible. Although we may not have accomplished all our goals this year, I do believe we have made a difference. We all make a difference every day.