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Higher Ed in the News

Students rally at the State Capitol

April 6, 2009

Colorado state legislators got an earful from Colorado State University students and others from across the state on Monday during a rally protesting the proposal to cut millions in next year's budget for higher education.

Save higher ed!

Across Colorado, college students gathered at the State Capitol on April 6 for a rally to save higher education. The assembly protested the Colorado State Legislature Joint Budget Committee’s proposal to cut $300 million in next year’s budgets which would eliminate higher education funding by 50 percent and allow schools to hike up their tuition to make up for funds the state cannot provide.

Road trip to Denver

ASCSU, Colorado State University's student government, coordinated a carpooling system that brought CSU students to the rally. Students from CSU-Pueblo, CU-Boulder and CU-Denver, the University of Northern Colorado, Mesa State College, and Metro State University also attended the 11 a.m. protest.

"We were on the Capitol steps, rallying with signs and it was a really unique experience. It felt like one of those stereotypical college type-of-things to do. There was a very impressive turn out from across Colorado. Legislators need to understand that higher education is important and we cannot let it fall to the wayside during hard economic times,” says Seth Walter, director of legislative affairs for ASCSU.

The proposal for the 2009-2010 state budget legislation, called the Long Bill, will go through the standard voting procedures in the state House and Senate before it can be given a final yes or no by Gov. Bill Ritter.

Possible losses

The losses that higher education students and future students will face will be extensive.

“We’re looking at a $80 million loss [at CSU]. Even if tuition goes up, we won’t be able to make up those losses. It’s a concern for everyone until the budget becomes stable again. It's something that everyone can relate to and it's going to be wide spread. Many schools are banding together to fight this,” says Quinn Girrens.

Students react

-Quinn Girrens, vice president of ASCSU
“This is something that affects every student and anyone who plans on attending higher education in Colorado. When tuition is getting higher while the quality of education is going down, that is something worth fighting for. We went to fight for the CSU students and fight for ourselves as students. We went to protect our education."

-Sara Anderson, president of CSU's Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
"By cutting the budget by that much it would really put a damper on student enrollment, especially those who can't afford higher education due to cost. They need to re-evaluate their proposal before they witness a major decrease in enrollment."

-Craig Dumas, senior business administration major
"Obviously, not acceptable, to say the least. I still have to get to graduate school and this is not helping."

What can you do?

Girrens suggests that students should do all they can to protect their education and future.

“Voice your opinions! Write to your legislator and tell them ‘this will affect me and I might not be able to go to school next year.’ Use the voice you have in a peaceful and productive manner.”


Find your Colorado General Assembly members.

Contact: Anh Ha
Phone: (970) 491-4161