Students from colleges around Utah are set to rally this Friday morning on Capitol Hill, regarding higher education funding.
Imminent budget cuts are on the board for every state-funded college in Utah. These budget cuts will affect students immediately. This writer attended a meeting with the Higher Education Appropriation Committee (the officials in suits and ties at the State Capitol who decide how many millions of dollars will be cut from our budget) last week at the Capitol to better understand the situation.
Tuition fees will go up without question. The goal of our legislators, however, is to attempt to use as little tuition as possible to subsidize budget cuts.
Faculty and staff will be cut. To students, this means they will see the number of available classes decline, meaning students may need to spend more semesters in school trying to register for and pass all required classes. Class sizes will grow significantly in many cases. It is also possible that entire programs will be cut. This would necessitate students to find somewhere else to fulfill program requirements at schools such as Weber State University, the University of Utah or Salt Lake Community College. Students need to be prepared for imminent changes.
There are two things that students can do that would be most beneficial to addressing the problems with the budget cuts: Write to the state legislature and tell them that higher education deserves to maintain its quality and request that education receives minimal budget cuts. Students can also attend a protest at the State Capitol Building on Friday, Jan. 30 at 10 a.m.
Thousands of students throughout the state will be representing their schools and making their voices and concerns heard. UVU students are urged to attend and make a stand for their education. Legislator’s contact information can be found at www.le.state.ut.us/house/DistrictInfo/NewMaps/state.htm