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Vice President Harris visiting CCSU considered 'a celebratory event'

Harris visited the university for a roundtable on reproductive rights.

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. — Vice President Kamala Harris went to Central Connecticut State University on Wednesday for a roundtable discussion on reproductive rights. U.S. Rep. Jahana Hayes (D - CT-05) and Alexis McGill Johnson, the national president of Planned Parenthood joined Harris in the conversation.

The discussion happened at the Torp Theater on campus. CCSU's president and about two dozen faculty and students were able to attend as well.

"Being a student, it’s like a fresh voice, like a fresh mind to like see what like the youth, per-se, think about it," said Larissa Chungong, a freshman at CCSU.  

EXPERT'S TAKE: CCSU political science professor says VP's visit to the school is a political move

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All across campus, many students had a lot to say about the roundtable. Especially after Roe v. Wade was overturned in June of this year. 

“I'm a really big proponent for women’s rights, and I think our reproductive health is very important," said Sarah Heikkinen, a graduate student at CCSU. 

As some stood in support of Harris and the reason for her visit, others came together to stand against abortion rights outside of campus. They say they want their voices to be heard, too.

"Especially around this area, my view, my more conservative view on abortion isn’t really heard as much," said Kevin Torres, a sophomore at CCSU. 

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But regardless of why the VP is in Connecticut, the campus community FOX61 spoke to said they feel good about this visit putting CCSU on the map.

The Vice President of the United States, in one of the most important countries in the world, is here," Torres said. 

“It’s a celebratory event, if you will. It shows the importance of our institution in the state and in the nation," said Zulma Toro, the President of CCSU. 

Toro said a lot of students reached out to her, wanting to be in on the conversation. But they only had a little over two dozen tickets to hand out. A limited number of students who have involvement in this issue were selected to join in on the event. Toro said the setting for the conversation, a college campus, couldn't be more fitting. 

“In some instances, it could be the difference between a student completing their college degree or not," Toro said.

Julia LeBlanc is a reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at jleblanc@fox61.com Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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