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 Tuesday, February 22, 2005 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter

IN THE SPOTLIGHT


Student Movement Calls for State to "Fund Our Future"
By Vanessa Lozano, junior, School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Student leaders from the University of Colorado System, Colorado State University and the University of Northern Colorado recently gathered in support of state funding for higher education on "I Love Higher Education Day" at the State Capitol.

"We are one step closer to securing our future, as well as the future of the State of Colorado," said Joseph Neguse, University of Colorado Student Union (UCSU) Tri-Executive.

The February 16 press conference and reception was part of the Fund Our Future, Today! campaign, a non-partisan student coalition that advocates awareness and action towards ending state budget cuts for higher education. Currently, Colorado ranks 48th in the nation for state funds per capita towards higher education.

"Funding has decreased because the Taxpayers' Bill of Rights restricts government spending, while Amendment 23 protects K-12 schools by requiring the government to fund them by 1 percent more each year," said Jessica Bralish, UCSU Public Relations Director.

According to the Fund Our Future Web site, in fiscal year 2004 the University of Colorado lost more than $3.8 million of state financial aid. Additionally, in the 2003-2004 academic year, CU-Boulder tuition for Colorado residents increased by 15.5 percent. Bralish said budget cuts would lead to larger classes and less resources for faculty, while tuition increases will lead to lower accessibility to public higher education.

"We cannot rest until a student from Montbello has the same higher education opportunities as a student from Cherry Creek," said Michael Carrigan, University of Colorado Regent, on I Love Higher Education Day.

The multi-campus campaign also features postcards signed by students, faculty, staff and community members that urge state representatives to generally support higher education when voting, maintain current funding for higher education and support referendum asking for a constitutional change in state funding. So far, CU-Boulder has contributed 4,000 postcards that were personally delivered by students to state representatives on I Love Higher Education Day. Additionally, a number of CU-Boulder student groups signed a letter to Colorado Governor Bill Owens addressing concerns on higher education funding.

For more information on the Fund Our Future campaign, please visit www.fundourfuture.com.



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