CONTACT: MELVIN O. SHAW
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Feb. 26, 2001
UI, UNI, and ISU student government voice opposition
to budget cuts
IOWA CITY-- Student
government leaders from the University of Iowa, the University of Northern
Iowa, and Iowa State University traveled to the state capitol today, Feb.
26, to "clearly communicate to legislators that students won't stand for further
reductions" to the budgets of the three state universities.
In a statement released jointly by the Regents student
body leaders, the unified group said it would speak during a 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
hearing to be led by Senate Democrats. The students are to speak again at
6 p.m. during a public hearing to be led by House Democrats.
"The UI, UNI, and ISU are already coping with underfunding
by the state legislature that last year resulted in delays to scheduled improvement
projects and the postponement of hiring faculty and staff in critical areas,"
student government leaders said.
In fall 2000, the Board of Regents, State of Iowa,
increased tuition and fees at the three public universities by almost 10 percent
for the 2001-02 school year, trying to make up for the loss in state funding,
the group said.
"Some members of the legislature are determined to
pay for their tax cuts by forcing gigantic tuition increases on students already
struggling to pay for their education," said Chris Linn, vice president, UI
Student Government. "Not only are they bankrupting our state treasury, but
they're undermining one of the best education systems in the nation."
The students say they are concerned that the Legislature's
recommended deappropriations, taking place halfway through this fiscal year,
will negatively affect educational quality and student access to education.
"The proposed deappropriations, on top of an already
insufficient budget, will make it more difficult for the average Iowan to
afford a quality education at a state university," said Andy Stoll, president,
"The average student is already borrowing nearly $20,000
to get their degree at a state university while the per capita income in Iowa
is only $26,000. How much more does the Legislature want students and their
families to give?" Stoll said.
The Regents' universities are an incredible resource
for students and every Iowan who benefits from the schools' services, research
and outreach programs, the student groups said.
The representatives from the UI, UNI, and ISU say
they also will express their concern about next year's budget allocations.
On Wednesday, Feb. 28, Sara Stephenson, UISG executive, will lead a delegation
of students to the capitol to again advocate for next year's budget and publicly
support Gov. Tom Vilsack's budget recommendations. The students say the Wednesday
trip is being planned to head-off another "unreasonable increase" by making
sure the state provides the Regents schools with adequate resources next year.