By Adam Baker/News editor
Postcards from Eastern students will soon be on their way to Frankfort – but the messages are not warm wishes from sunny beaches. Instead, the notes are the Student Government Association’s latest efforts to protect the budgets of colleges and universities across the state. SGA is passing out the postcards to students who wish to express the importance of higher education to their legislators. A message on the postcard urges members of the legislature to “make funding of Kentucky’s state colleges and universities a top priority.”
The letter also says even with recent blows to state and national budgets “Eastern and other leading state universities have met and even surpassed the challenges” set by the legislature.
The postcards list increases in enrollment and graduation rates as some of Eastern’s successes.
“Major cuts now,” the letter says, “would hamstring this effort just as real progress is being made.”
The letter explains to congressmen that by continuing their investments in colleges and universities across the Bluegrass, they can “ensure that this progress toward a better quality of life for every citizen of this Commonwealth remains within reach.”
Students who support SGA’s efforts are asked to stop by the office to sign three postcards. SGA will send one to the senator from the student’s district and two to the representatives from the county. Out-of-state students are also encouraged to sign a postcard, and their cards will be sent to leaders in both the House and Senate.
Student Body President and Regent Kristina O’Brien said the postcards are a good way for students to get personally involved in state government and show legislators they care.
“This is a follow-up to our actions at the rally,” she said.
Members of SGA and other Eastern students joined a crowd of nearly 300 Kentucky college students at the capitol in early February to protest proposed budget cuts to higher education. The second annual rally was part of Higher Education Day.
Postcards for students to sign will be available from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. today and Friday in the Powell lobby. Students can also stop by the SGA office in Powell from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
The General Assembly will vote on the 2004-2006 biennial state budget at the end of the month.
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