As the cost to attend college increases, many students realize that it’s difficult to pay for school. However, students now have an opportunity to stand up and say something about it.
All students are encouraged to attend a rally at the capitol building in Frankfort, Ky, to communicate to state representatives the importance and value of higher education. The event, called “The Rally for Higher Education,” is provided for students as a means to get engaged in the political process and meet their representatives.
The rally will address topics such as the increasing cost of attendance for students, the funding cuts of public universities and the allocation of lottery funds.
“This rally is to be the voice of the students,” said Collin Potter, SGA student body president. “We’re wanting this to be an opportunity to be civically engaged and that’s what we need—we need students to be advocates for education and speaking to their legislators and letting them know how important education is.”
The event, hosted by the SGA student body presidents from all Kentucky public universities, is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 13, in Frankfort. Students and SGA members of state universities are scheduled to be in attendance, and student speakers from each university are scheduled to speak on behalf of the students in the state and call for changes in key state issues.
EKU’s student speaker is scheduled to be Ryan Wiggins, a sophomore double majoring in political science and psychology. Wiggins will be addressing the recent budget cuts and the possibility of future cuts as well as the importance of higher education specifically to Kentucky.
“This matters to me, specifically, because I don’t want to see anybody not be able to get a degree simply because they can’t afford it,” Wiggins said. “Students need to be sure our voice is heard. The cuts to higher education directly affect us and will go on to affect the generations after us.”
Also scheduled to speak are some of Kentucky’s state officials, including Andy Beshear, the state attorney general, Alison L. Grimes, the Kentucky secretary of state, and other Kentucky legislators.
Another key issue in this year’s rally is the distribution of Kentucky state lottery funds. Though Kentucky lottery funding is mandated to fund higher education, the money designated for need-based scholarships has been cut by nearly 25%, taking away many available scholarships, according to the Student Government Association.
The rally is an open event to any student, faculty member or alumni. Vans and busses will be available for students to take to Frankfort on Monday morning, leaving at 10 a.m. from Powell corner. When the busses arrive in Frankfort at 11 a.m., students will meet with Madison County Representative Wesley Morgan. Following lunch, the rally will begin at 1 p.m., concluding at 3 p.m.
To sign-up for the event, students must go into the SGA office in middle Powell or contact Collin Potter by email at email@example.com.
“It’s such an exciting event. That’s really what we’re wanting—a pep rally feel,” Potter said. “Not people getting out there screaming and condemning, but people getting excited about the future of education, excited about the importance of education.”