The Charger Blog

Connecticut Lieutenant Governor's Message to Students: 'We Need Young People, and We Need Diversity'

Susan Bysiewicz, the Lieutenant Governor for the State of Connecticut, recently spoke to an "American Government and Politics" class taught by Connecticut State Rep. Dorinda Borer '92 MBA, encouraging students to vote, get involved, and run for office.

December 17, 2020

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

Rep. Dorinda Borer '92 MBA (left) speaks with Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz.
Connecticut State Rep. Dorinda Borer '92 MBA (left) speaks with Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz via Zoom.

Gabriela Garcia-Perez '24 said an "American Government and Politics" class she took this past semester enabled her and her classmates opportunities to learn from political leaders who are actively serving in government. One of the highlights of the class, which was taught by Connecticut State Rep. Dorinda Borer '92 MBA, was a virtual visit by Connecticut Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz, who spoke to the class late in the semester.

Garcia-Perez looked forward to learning about Lt. Gov. Bysiewicz's political journey and her involvement with state government.

"It was wonderful to hear Lt. Gov. Bysiewicz discuss her most recent initiatives, which include engaging with high school students to teach them the importance of voting," said Garcia-Perez, a business management major. "Many of us in the class were first-time voters in this past election, so hearing about her experience encouraging youths to get involved in civic participation was extremely relevant."

'Studying government will serve you well no matter what'

Joining the class via Zoom, Lt. Gov. Bysiewicz spoke to a hybrid class – some of the students were in the classroom, while others joined in virtually from home. This is similar to how her job has changed since the pandemic started, she said, as she now does press conferences and interviews via Zoom.

"I hope you consider running for office or pursuing public service in some capacity. We need young people, and we need diversity."Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz

A former Secretary of the State who also served as a state representative in the Connecticut General Assembly, Lt. Gov. Bysiewicz discussed how a high school internship in the Middletown, Connecticut, mayor's office sparked her interest in public service. She later completed other internships with elected officials in Connecticut and in Washington, D.C., experiences that, she says, were educational and meaningful.

She encouraged students to pursue their own internship opportunities, to vote, and to get involved in their communities.

"Volunteer on campaigns or go to your local democratic or republican meetings," she said. "I think studying government will serve you well no matter what you do. I hope you consider running for office or pursuing public service in some capacity. We need young people, and we need diversity."

'They were engaged and insightful'
Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz presentation
Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz spoke with students via Zoom.

Professor Borer echoed the Lieutenant Governor's message to stay involved. She explained to students that government impacts every aspect of their lives, from their education to how they drive their cars. She says that while she believes an American Government course is always important, it has been especially relevant this semester.

"I couldn't think of a more exciting time to teach American Government," said Borer. "Every chapter played out in real time. From the Electoral College vote, Supreme Court nominations, voter participation, presidential powers, and amendments, every topic had the students' focused attention.

"They were engaged and insightful," she continued. "I'm so proud of our students and how they represent the interest of our younger generation in government. We are grateful to Lt. Gov. Bysiewicz for joining us and helping to bring it all home by addressing our final class."

Garcia-Perez, the business management major, agrees. She says it was a wonderful opportunity to learn about career options, civic engagement, and community involvement.

"As college students in the era of COVID-19, we need to understand how different career paths and professions have changed or adapted due to the circumstances," she said. "Meeting with officials such as Lt. Governor Bysiewicz gave us insight into various internship positions within the State Capitol that are available to young people, and the benefits of working with our state's officials to foster positive change."