SG hoping for high turnout at tuition rally

Student Government is hoping to have more students than ever in Frankfort voicing concern about the proposed budget cuts to state universities at this year’s Higher Education Rally.

Tomorrow’s event will focus on the negative effects the budget cut could have on students in Kentucky, said SG Chief of Staff Chris Crumrine. The cuts will affect students more than any other issue because state funding goes far in determining UK’s tuition, he said.

Students will feel the consequences of this budget cut, SG President Nick Phelps said, which is why they should make time to go to the rally.

“Unless students want to have to get a second job, drop out of school or lose hundreds of thousands of dollars, they should come,” Phelps said.

Kentucky representatives, including Gov. Steve Beshear and Secretary of State Trey Grayson will speak, along with representatives from state-funded universities. Student body presidents will also have the opportunity to speak, Phelps said.

The Board of Student Body Presidents helped plan the rally. Phelps and the rest of the board are having dinner with the governor tonight, where he said there should be personal discussion about higher education in Kentucky.

“We are going to let (legislators) know, ‘If you do this, my college education will suffer, and that is not fair,’ ” Phelps said.

Having a high student turnout can prove to legislators that students care about the decisions the General Assembly makes concerning education, Crumrine said.

“The most encouraging thing to legislators is having students there showing that they care,” he said. “It will put a face on the dollar signs.”

Students should consider that the future of the university depends on this budget, Crumrine said, and not think of the rally as a clash in politics.

“This is not a Republican or a Democratic issue — this is a student issue,” he said. “This is our budget. It determines how many students will be sitting in the classrooms and what kind of programs UK can offer.”

The rally is tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. in the Capitol Rotunda. The timing is ideal, Phelps said, since the legislative session begins at 2 p.m. and legislators will be making their way to the Capitol during it.

SG will be taking a bus to transport students to the rally, leaving the Student Center at 12:30 p.m. Crumrine said the bus will leave Frankfort around 3:30 p.m. Phelps will sign excuses for students who would have to miss class and need to verify that they are going to the rally. Students can sign up for a ride in the SG office in room 120 of the Student Center, or e-mail SG at [email protected]