Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Post - Athens, OH
The independent newspaper covering campus and community since 1911.
The Post

Students plan to protest funding cut, educate masses about impact

A coalition of students is organizing rallies, protests and educational events in light of recent state-level funding reductions for public schools.

The group's first event, aimed at students who want to learn more about the current "crisis in public higher education," will take place March 2 in Baker University Center from 1 to 6 p.m. Defend Education, Ohio!, a coalition of about 25 students, faculty and staff, is also planning a March 4 documentary screening and March 15 rally.

The group's first event, called a "teach-in," will address local as well as national and international higher education problems and feature presentations from about 15 faculty members and a few students. Presentations will range from 15 to 45 minutes.

Topics include the Ohio budget, the labor movement, student debt, minority communities in education and "civil disobedience training," among others.

"I have been thinking about having a teach-in for at least six months, and the timing was right for getting people together," said Judith Grant, director of the Women's and Gender Studies department and organizer of the event. "What is happening at OU is not unique to OU - it is part of a global trend. It is especially a crisis for public education."

Defend Education, Ohio! was formed partly as a reaction to the news that Gov. John Kasich plans to slash state funding for public universities in Ohio, said Tyler Barton, a student organizer of the teach-in.

Ohio University is planning for a projected $27 million reduction in state funding for next fiscal year, but the university will not know exactly how much it will have to cut until Kasich releases his biennial budget March 15. Ohio is currently facing an estimated $8 billion budget deficit due to the absence of one-time federal stimulus money.

The coalition's rally is planned for March 15 to coincide with the release of Kasich's biennial budget draft, Grant said.

"We want to help people understand the problems that OU is facing ... and ultimately form a student movement to fight back against this constant increase in tuition in public education systems," Barton said.

OU officials announced last week that an increase in tuition is likely for next academic year. Tuition increased by 3.5 percent this year to $2,648 per quarter for in-state, undergraduate students.

The rally will focus on the cost of higher education, said Tracy Kelly, president of Graduate Student Senate.

"We're going to be doing some kind of demonstration ... of our support for higher education and affordability," Kelly said.

The coalition has also planned a March 4 screening of the documentary College, Inc., which focuses on the corporatization of the higher education industry as well as for-profit colleges. The screening and discussion will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. in Bentley Hall, room 236.

About 390 students indicated they plan to attend the teach-in on March 2, and another 464 students said they might attend, according to the event's Facebook page.


Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2016-2024 The Post, Athens OH