SGA travels to Frankfort for higher education

WKU’s SGA Senator and Academic Affairs Chair Kate Hart holds the door for fellow members of the SGA cabinet after their meeting on Tuesday. They met with Representative and House Majority Whip Johnny Bell during the WKU’s SGA visit to the state delegates in Frankfort, Ky to discuss budget proposal that effect education. Shaban Athuman/HERALD

Dustin Skipworth

Members of the Student Government Association traveled to Frankfort on Tuesday to lobby against state budget cuts that could slash funding to WKU by as much as 9 percent.

Student Government Association President Jay Todd Richey said lobbying in Frankfort will allow legislators to hear the voice of college students.

“We don’t just represent [WKU]– we’re representing every student at a public university,” Richey said after meeting with state representatives. “I think the legislators have been receptive to our message.”

Student senators met with eight state officials and pled their case for both a reduction in cuts to higher education and a restoration of need based funding.

SGA was armed with statistics stating that around 15,000 students were denied need-based financial aid last year because lottery funds meant for education were shifted to other areas.

“It’s demoralizing as tuition keeps increasing,” Richey said.

Though the meetings with legislators were only 30 minutes, SGA senator Hannah Neeper felt they were beneficial.

“It was very productive,” she said. “Either way it goes, we supported our students.”

State officials shielded their plans for their upcoming budget proposals that could counter Bevin’s own. House and Senate proposals are set to become public in a few weeks.

Rep. Jody Richards, whose district rests in Warren County, met with SGA and revealed some possibilities of what could be expected.

“The house budget will be much better for all education,” he said.

However, he did not elaborate on any specifics regarding the upcoming house budget proposition.

After the meetings adjourned the Kentucky House of Representatives and Kentucky Senate recognized SGA for their lobbying efforts and participation in the political process.

Students from across the Commonwealth will travel to the state capitol on Thursday to voice their opinion concerning funding higher education.