BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A University at Buffalo pharmacy student is appealing the governor's travel ban to North Carolina because she says it affects her ability to do rotations there.
This student hasn't gotten any response from the governor's office despite three months of calls, letters, and faxes to appeal her case, so Christine Piccione finally reached out 2 On Your Side as a plea for help.
Piccione is a third year pharmacy student at UB, and one of the final things these students need to do are rotations for hands-on practice.
She says UNC Chapel Hill is regarding as the best pharmacy program in country, and certain laws in NC would allow her to do more than here in New York.
However, under Cuomo's executive order banning state funded of state sponsored travel to the state, she can't go.
Christine was informed by SUNY's legal counsel that what she wanted to do fell under the "state sponsored" category of the order, even though students fund the travel themselves.
Over the course of several months, she has emailed the governor, faxed the state's education counsel, and even had 117 students write letters on her behalf.
"I definitely think it does put me at a disadvantage. I'm going to be competing against the top students in the country for jobs, and I just don't think it's fair that I don't get that opportunity when we can travel anywhere else in the country, anywhere else in the world even, and I can't travel to one state in my own country,” said Piccione.
A pharmacy coordinator and even the dean of the school tried to help, but in an ongoing e-mail conversation on the matter, a SUNY counselor said they could not petition the governor; only wait.
Time is of the essence now because her deadline to choose where she'll do her rotations is Wednesday, February 15, and 2 On Your Side has made steps to reach out to the governor's officer as well.
An executive spokesperson told Channel 2's Erica Brecher on Friday that the state was trying to work things out, and Piccione said that a state-appointed attorney called her Saturday to collect some more information on her case. Channel 2 will follow up with what happens on Wednesday.
“I know now that somebody is at least listening to me, somebody knows about the situation, and they're working on it,” she said.
For those who might not remember, Governor Cuomo enacted this travel ban when North Carolina's governor did not legalize the right for transgender people to use the bathroom they feel most comfortable with.
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