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Harrell selected for legislative internship

On January 31, 2013

Marshall University Student Body President Ray Harrell Jr. has been selected to participate in the Judith A. Herndon Legislative Fellows Program. Harrell will spend the 2013 spring semester in Charleston assisting the Legislators in the legislative session.

The Herndon Fellowship was established in 1981 with the purpose of providing interns with a wide range of skills and knowledge regarding the legislative process. It is open to all colleges and universities in the state of West Virginia, but only 10 applications are selected. Harrell was one of these 10.

However, playing such a large role in Student Government, there were some concerns about Harrell being away from his university office, and how it might affect the rest of the executive branch concerning decisions that have to be made.

So far there have been no negative effects on SGA, Harrell said. Ive had no issues brought to my attention.

Harrell said the key to making things work is maintaining excellent communication among all the members of the executive branch. I keep in touch with my staff, the Legislative Branch and my advisors almost on a daily basis.

Harrell explains that if there is an issue needing to be addressed in person, any person from his staff of eight people can act in his place. So, if I need someone to go to a meeting, I can send someone to speak for me, Harrell said. If theres something to vote on, I can prep them before hand with the materials they need.

Of course, it kills me to be away, Harrell said. I definitely miss being here and interacting with the students, but when legislative session starts, it will all be worth it.

Harrell said being part of the legislative process is really exciting for him because his major is political science and his goal is to become part of the legislation one day.

I think its interesting to see how the SGA here at Marshall does things on a small scale and then compare them the processes that have been in place for hundreds of years, Harrell said.

Harrell said that the experience he has gained from being a part of SGA and now participating in this internship will definitely help him in the future when searching for a job.

Kimberly Smith can be contacted at

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