Credit: Charleston Gazette

Discussions With a Delegate

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va.,  Students had the opportunity to discuss Shepherd University, the environmentand higher education policies during an event with John Doyle. 

Doyle has served on the West Virginia House of Delegates for several different terms. Most recently, he was reelected in the 2018 election cycle as a Democratic delegate. 

Doyle is not only a state representative, but he is also an alumnus of our very own Shepherd University. 

Before being elected as a delegate, Doyle attended college at Shepherd where hgained his degree in political science. 

Doyle reflects that his favorite aspect of Shepherd University was, “the political science department” and the two professors who were a part of that department while he was in school. 

In addition to his time at Shepherd, students questioned his role and policies as a delegate during the discussion. 

One of the questions that students discussed with Doyle was about the exact role of a delegate in the state legislature.

This was an important question for the students because they wanted a clearer picture of what they vote for on election days. Many people do not pay attention to politics outside of the national level even though state and local governments often influence everyday life more frequently. 

Doyle explained that his role as a delegate is to simply “make laws” based on issues that are important to him and his constituents.  

One of the most important issues that were brought up in the discussion waenvironmental issues. Studies by sources such as CNBC have found that the current generation of college students are very concerned about policies relating to the environment. 

Students were able to question Doyle’s policies on the environment as well as discuss their views on the issue. 

Another topic that greatly impacts Shepherd students is the discussion of higher education policies. Doyle holds a seat on the education committee of the West Virginia legislature, and so his decisions at the capital can directly affect Shepherd students. 

Doyle told students that one of his policies regarding higher education was the policy that allowed Shepherd to offer graduate programs.  

After the discussion, several Shepherd students spoke on why they believed that talking with representatives is important.  

Shepherd University Junior, Alyssa Nazarok, stated, “it is really helpful as a student to talk to a delegate to understand what life in public service can be like and to gain insight on politics, problems, etc. from someone with so much experience.” 

Another student, Hunter Hayward, saw this discussion as an opportunity to gain insight into the political field as a voter. Hayward reflected that, “far too often we are unaware of the degree to which legislatures impact our lives.” 

Shepherd students had the ability to discuss what mattered to them during this meeting with John Doyle. As college students, individuals at Shepherd are usually of age to participate in elections and other political engagements.  

Therefore, it is not only important for individuals to understand the political process, but it is also important for individuals to discuss their views with the politicians who are meant to be representing those views.   

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