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LANSING — More than 150 university students gathered today on the steps of the Capitol to protest proposed state cuts to higher education.

Carrying picket signs that read “We are the future,” the students, who are from several universities statewide, including Michigan State, are upset over a proposal by Gov. Rick Snyder to slash funding for universities by $42 million.

Stefan Johnson, 34, a master’s student studying anthropology at MSU, said he feared the proposed cuts would force universities to hike tuition next year.

“It’s going to make education more untenable,” Johnson said. “It’s already too expensive as it is. “

Snyder has said some of that money may be restored to universities that restrain tuition increases. It’s the latest in a series of rallies at the Capitol in recent weeks that have protested Snyder’s proposed budget and what critics describe as anti-labor bills.

The rally was organized by the Student Association of Michigan, an advocacy group for Michigan’s students of higher education.

On Wednesday, several university presidents, including MSU President Lou Anna Simon, told the Senate Appropriations Higher Education Subcommittee that it didn’t make sense to propose across-the board funding cuts for universities because they have different missions and funding needs.

Original post from Associated Press

LANSING — About 200 college students have rallied at the Michigan Capitol to show their dismay over proposed cuts to universities.

The students are the latest group to protest Republican Gov. Rick Snyder’s budget and policy proposals. Snyder has proposed cuts of more than 20 percent to the state’s 15 universities, but has offered to keep the cut at 15 percent for universities where tuition increases no more than 7 percent.

Students attending today’s rally say tuition already is too expensive.

Tuition and fees at public universities average $9,410 this academic year. That’s up 80 percent over 2002-03, far more than the 15 percent rise in inflation over that period.

Even without Snyder’s proposed cut, state funding for university operations has dropped 12 percent over the past eight years.

Written by
Scott Davis
sedavis@lsj.com 

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