College students from around the state got firsthand experience in the government process–as they held a rally at the statehouse Tuesday. A few hundred met with their legislators about cuts in funding to their respective schools. The Clemson University contingent was the largest, with about 100 students participating.
Clemson student Abby Daniel says she can see the effects of the cuts on campus in multiple ways.
“All of our construction has been halted, which on Clemson’s campus is a huge thing right now. We are about to undergo a major core campus renovation to completely re do a dining hall, our post office, all student services,” says Daniel, ” and that has been put on hold for the moment. We’re just looking for ways to get by instead of moving forward.”
The consensus among the students at the rally is that they oppose caps to tuition. Clemson student Jack Seeby from Greenville explains that they would rather put the administrators at their respective universities in charge of tuition “and let them make decisions regarding our tuition and not have state government do it.” That way, says Seeby, they can avoid sacrificing quality with across-the-board cuts.
State Representative James Smith met with the students, and says he was impressed.
“They were certainly heard by me and a number of other members and because they are here and because, particularly on the issue of the cap, that they are willing to accept some of the responsibility themselves, I think that’s a very powerful message and I think it will ring true to many of the House members and Senate members.”