Sears Takes a Call From Senator Warner By Angi Highlander | April 13, 2011 | RSS Bluefield College was invited recently to join a conference call with U.S. Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia involving 100 students from 18 Virginia colleges to discuss budget cuts in areas such as financial aid and Medicare. Emily Sears The conference call took place April 6 from 3:30 to 4:40 p.m. The president of the student government association (SGA), Emily Sears, was asked to participate in this honor for the college. “I was very honored to be able to sit in on this phone call,” Sears said. “I was inspired to stay involved in government and to contact my senators whenever I have an opinion. I was also inspired that our generation of college-age students can make a difference.” The conference call was organized by VA21, whose purpose is to get college students active in government by contacting politicians and lobbying. Sears said Sen. Warner spoke to the students and then took about five questions. She reported that many of the questions were about financial aid and the expense of a college education. Sen. Warner suggested that Virginia colleges stop trying to expand degree programs to meet the needs of every student, but rather focus on particular majors so that students can choose a school based on the particular majors available. Sears reported that Sen. Warner’s response to a question about Medicare was that budgets had to be cut because of the amount of debt in America. Sears also said he stated that each day a solution is not found, the country’s debt increases by $5 billion. Warner added that because no one wants to give up anything, every aspect of the budget must be reevaluated.