At a forum about the vote on funding the Student Success Building
held this morning in the Tivoli, President Stephen Jordan called the
proposed cuts to Colorado’s colleges and universities “draconian.”
He also pointed out that the total amount of the cut would be $450
million, as the $300 million proposed last week would be on top of the
$150-million cut the legislature already had asked higher ed to make.
Also this morning, Metro State students,
along with approximately 100 others from eight public colleges and
universities around the state, held a protest on the State Capitol
steps to express their concerns that cutting the higher ed budget so
drastically would lead to double-digit tuition hikes – this at a time
when Coloradans can least afford it.
Metro State student Aaron “Jack” Wylie, who is legislative director
of the Associated Students of Colorado, spoke at the rally saying that
[students] refuse to have a state budget balanced on [their] backs.
"At a time when we should be investing in Colorado's future, we are
burning it to the ground. We, the students, are calling on the General
Assembly and Gov. Ritter to join up and find a solution to this
crisis," Wylie said.
Sen. Al White, R-Hayden, told the students that if Pinnacol
Assurance would give up $500 million out of the $700 million the
company has in funds beyond what it needs in reserves, that higher
education would make it through the year unscathed. Pinnacol has
refused the legislative request.
Wylie says that the ASC plans to have more rallies and will set up
phone banks to inform students of the situation. “Just getting the
word out about how drastic this is,” Wylie adds. “I think students
expect cuts, but I don’t think they realize the magnitude of the cuts
and the impact it would actually have on them.”
Applications up dramatically
While Metro State’s estimated
total FY 09-10 base reduction is a 56 percent decrease in
appropriations over last year, applications to the College for the fall
semester continue to climb at an astounding rate. As of April 1,
applications for 2009 fall semester are up 45 percent over the same
time last year, and acceptances have increased 49 percent.
Associate Vice President of Enrollment Services Judi Diaz
Bonacquisti says that the applications are “across the board,” with
increases in every category from new student to readmit. She does
attribute some of the increase to an earlier application deadline this
For more information about the crisis or to submit questions or suggestions, go to www.mscd.edu/president/higheredfunding.
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