University of Tampa student to lobby Congress this week

By Chris Hopper , Reporter
Last Updated: Sunday, April 22, 2012

University of Tampa sophomore elementary education major Nicole Cawsey is a far cry from a seasoned Washington, DC lobbyist.

But the UT student is getting the chance of a lifetime to stand in front of national lawmakers and fight for something she believes in.

“I tend to be outgoing and persuasive, and my parents always said I needed to go into government,” Cawsey said.

Though temporary, Cawsey will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the best on Capitol Hill as she fights for a bill she’s passionate about.

“Tuesday is lobbying on Capitol Hill. So, I just have meetings with a bunch of different Congresswomen and men, and just advocate for this bill and try to have more supporters.”

Cawsey is one of only 94 undergraduates in the nation chosen to lobby for a bill that supports affordable education and improved student housing.

She was picked because of the work she is doing within her sorority. Her passion comes from the fact her sorority doesn’t have a house on campus because it’s not allowed to.

“I think it’ll be a really great asset, because the city of Tampa does not allow you to have housing Greek housing. So, the university doesn’t allow us. I think it will be a fresh perspective to come in and be like, I know what it’s like.”

Cawsey never thought she’d end up in a position to have a direct influence on policy decisions, but she’s hoping the experience will help her later in life.

“Ultimately, I do want to be a teacher, but I don’t want to just stop there. I’d love to work for the Department of Education, in Washington, and try to work on the ... education system, as a whole,” she added.

Cawsey will be in Washington D.C. until April 25. There are only two college students from Florida on the trip.

She will also meet with the national president of her sorority while she’s in the nation's capital.