March 24, 2011
By Scott Davis
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.