I hope you are off to an excellent semester! It’s hard to believe we are already four weeks into our classes, homework, activities on campus and work schedules. I challenge each of you to continue to work hard and enjoy the life of an Eastern Kentucky student!
On another note, I am writing to share a tremendous opportunity with you. I have the privilege to sit on the Board of Student Body Presidents – which is a collection of student body presidents at each of the state universities in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
With that being said, we have been working hard to represent our students and plan the Rally for Higher Education. This has been something Eastern has done for years, but unfortunately, many students have not known what it was or been able to attend. This “rally” will take place in Frankfort at the state capitol in, “The Rotunda.” If you have never gotten a chance to visit the state capitol, this is a perfect opportunity to check it out. Kentucky’s Capitol Building is ranked as one of the most beautiful capitols in the nation.
You may ask, “So what is this rally all about?” The answer to that question is that it’s about showing our state legislatures that we care about higher education! For 11 years, higher education’s budget has been cut, and this year we are receiving a $62 million cut in our state allocations. That means there could be an increase in tuition, which I know you don’t want to see. Unfortunately, we are living in tough times… there is not much money in Frankfort to be disbursed and many programs are receiving pretty heavy cuts. However, there is $9 billion in Frankfort and higher education (us, the students) is receiving a 6.4 percent cut.
To make my message clear – this is not a rally where I want Eastern students to go to Frankfort and disrespect legislatures and yell and scream. I want this to be a rally where we send a positive message to our representatives and encourage them to not forget about us while they are in their voting session. As your Student Body President, I care about keeping your tuition affordable. While I cannot control the state’s budget, I can encourage all of us to truly take a passion in caring about our future in education. This rally will be a time for us to ask our representatives questions and see what we can do to make a difference. If you can’t make it to the rally, I challenge you to write your representatives letters, make phone calls and sign petitions to make a difference for Eastern Kentucky!
The Student Government Association will be providing transportation, lunch, a free T-shirt and a University Excused Absence. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will reserve a spot for you on the bus! Buses will leave for Frankfort at 10:15 a.m . from Alumni Coliseum and will return by 2 p.m. on February 7. For all you Greek students out there – if you attend you will receive Greek points.
I hope each of you consider this great opportunity to attend and learn more about higher education.
May God bless you as you continue your semester.
Student Body President and Regent