U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna (right) talks with Professors Krista Ingram (center) and Randy Fuller (left) Monday.

U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna (right) talks with Professors Krista Ingram (center) and Randy Fuller (left) Monday. (Photo by Andy Daddio)

U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna, R-Barneveld, connected with the Colgate University community Monday, meeting with faculty, administrators, and students, discussing issues ranging from natural-gas fracking to political gridlock and the federal budget sequester.

After hearing Michael Hayes, professor of political science, describe Colgate’s Washington D.C. Study Group, Hanna immediately handed Hayes a business card and said he wants to meet with students when they travel to the nation’s capital for the spring 2014 semester.

“If I can ever speak to one of your classes or forums, I’d like that a lot,” said Hanna, who describes himself as a moderate Republican. “The gridlock you see in Washington, it’s a cumulative thing there. I’d love to talk to you about it.”

Citing a desire to learn more about Colgate as the reason for his visit, Hanna met with President Jeffrey Herbst, took a tour of the Robert H.N. Ho Science Center, and had an informal reception with a number of representatives from a wide range of university programs.

Madison County, where Colgate is located, became part of Hanna’s 22nd Congressional District in 2012.

Professors Jeff Bary and Randy Fuller guided Hanna through the Ho Science Center, stopping at the Ho Tung Visualization Lab and the Robert M. Linsley Geology Museum.

Hanna spoke with Fuller and Bary about the pros and cons of natural-gas fracking while looking at several fossils and geodes in the geology collection, commenting that the museum was, “a thrill.”

Hanna met with students from the National Institutes of Health Off-Campus Study Group, the Thought Into Action Institute, the Upstate Institute, and with a participant in the new Sophomore Residential Seminars.

Prior to his election in 2010, Hanna spent 27-years running Hanna Construction in Barneveld. And while it was his first time visiting campus as an elected representative, Hanna said he was not unfamiliar with Colgate, as his former construction company was involved in building projects on campus in the past.