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Iowa's University Students Rally with Branstad for University Funding, But Should They?

ISU's Dakota Hoben said Branstad's proposal relieved students.

Iowa's House and Senate remain about $65 million apart in funding for the state's Regent universities. But Gov. Terry Branstad has a proposal that's shining a light on the end of Government of the Student Body President Dakota Hoben's tunnel, as reported in the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier.

The Senate wants to add $34 million to the current budget and the House wants to freeze tuition and cut $31 million. Branstad said they should add $20 million.

“I think in a lot of ways students do see this as the potential light to the end of the tunnel,” Hoben said.

Branstad, supported by students, made a plea for more funding in the interest of curbing student debt at the Iowa State Fair grounds Monday.

Branstad's proposal, Iowa Board of Regents President Craig Lang said, would prevent an increase above the 3.75 percent already approved for next fall.

State support for universities has fallen 40 percent in the last decade.

The University of Northern Iowa has become a case study in the in Iowa suffering cuts that have led to the closing of the Price Lab school most recently.

Ron Tigner, of the ISU ambassadors program, told The Daily Iowan that legislators needed to hear from students and said ISU was in danger of becoming a private university as more and more funding comes from student tuition.

Last July, Legislator Shawn Hamerlinck, told student leaders testifying at a Senate hearing, “This is political theater, leave the circus to us,” the Quad City Times reported.

However, the students' “circus” is just beginning. The Iowa City's Daily Iowan reported that Monday's event is a kick off to a series of road shows supported by Universities for a Better Iowa, an organization founded by student government leaders of Iowa's three universities. The road show will travel to several cities including Sioux City, Mount Pleasant, Carroll, Atlantic, Dubuque and Fort Dodge this month.

Should students have a voice in this debate? Tell us in the comments.

Jessica Miller April 03, 2012 at 10:58 PM
Should students have a voice in this debate? Tell us in the comments.
Crispin Reid April 04, 2012 at 05:09 AM
What really needs to happen is that tax dollars need to stop going to private and religious colleges in Iowa. If you want to go to a private or religious school, pay for it or have the church pay for it. How much in our tax money goes to private and religious colleges and universities?
PublicUStudent April 05, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Why would you not want students advocating for their own universities? Students at our public universities are one of the biggest populations being affected by the legislature's budget cuts. As the Legislature continues to cut university budgets, students' education is hindered, and as their education is hindered, they become less prepared to enter the work force and contribute to the economy. Additionally, students are part of various programs and projects that directly impact Iowans daily. Think about education students who student teach, or engineers and agricultural experts that help our farmers grow more and grow efficiently. Think about medical students that assist in treating patients at UIHC, or those students that eventually work for UIHC as a resident, treating Iowans from ALL parts of the state. Students should be part of the effort in keeping our universities funded because they should be well-prepared to work in their respective fields, and so they can continue to contribute to the well being of Iowans daily.
Alison Gowans April 05, 2012 at 06:21 PM
@PublicUStudent, I have to agree with you. I think students should be encouraged and commended for being involved in these conversations that directly impact their lives.

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