Recent budget cuts in education and college funding have dominated news outlets and left millions of families to worry about how their children and other family members will get a college education. Many are certainly worried and frustrated with the situation of college funding, and now some students in Nevada are doing what they can to put on demonstrations in Carson City and let lawmakers in their state know exactly how they feel. Braving the snow and freezing temperatures, at least 1,500 college students dressed in T-shirts and costumes portraying their schools’ mascots lead a demonstration to fight against cuts in funding for higher education, according to an article posted on Boston.com.
The students, who came from Las Vegas, Elko, and Reno, made up one of the largest rallies in the history of the city. Students urged lawmakers to find funding for higher education and chanted things like, "No more cuts!" as they stood in front of the legislature. As college students jammed the halls of the legislature and other galleries, breaking into chants and shouts, passing cars honked at protesters carrying signs, leaving many legislators to comment on how they had never seen anything like the demonstration before in all their years in the legislature. The Governor of Nevada, Brian Sandoval, who proposed the cuts, sent out tweets welcoming the students to Carson City to take part in the political process. However, his messages weren’t so well-received and some demonstrators signed mass letters of protest and delivered them to Sandoval’s office.
While Sandoval had planned to meet with the students that came to speak their concerns, the students’ travels were delayed because of the weather conditions across much of the state. However, Sandoval did meet with eight student leaders and a faculty representative later that day in his office. The students let Sandoval know they were disappointed in his stances and behaviors and urged for him to compromise. The president of the University of Nevada talked about how even while students have been supportive of higher tuition fees and costs over the last three years, higher education is certainly suffering and the effects shouldn’t be picked up by students alone. The cuts in debate, which are about $162 million dollars over the next two years, will mean eliminations of programs, increased layoffs, and significant tuition increases for students.
As the morning budget hearing went on and students heard that majors such as philosophy, art, and economics would be cut from programs at UNLV, Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford told the packed hearing room that state funds to the prison system would increase while those for higher education would decrease. The students groaned. Student body leaders acknowledged low graduation rates and aren’t expecting money to just appear for these programs, but they were hoping to work together to fix the problem as they called for bipartisan talks to raise taxes on businesses and mining. Other Democratic lawmakers showed up at the rally to remind the crowds to not give up until they got what they deserved.
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