SGA members rally for higher education today

Mike Stunson

Members of the Student Government Association will join students from universities across Kentucky today in Frankfort for the Rally for Higher Education.

The rally takes place in Frankfort every year to promote the importance and investment of postsecondary education.

This year’s keynote speaker will be SGA secretary Katie Stillwell, who said she was very “humbled” to be selected.

“I will be representing students across the state, so my words have to represent not only my views but of all students,” Stillwell said.

She said her speech will be aimed at urging legislators to continue to protect money they now have set aside for higher education — not necessarily to ask for more.

SGA President Colton Jessie, last year’s keynote speaker, said he feels there is no downside to a further investment in higher education.

“If they invest then more people are educated,” he said. “They will get better jobs and hopefully stay in the Commonwealth.”

Jessie will join Chief of Staff Charlie Harris as well as other SGA officers from the state for a lunch with Gov. Steve Beshear. The rally will be afterward, and the day finishes with meetings with legislators.

Billy Stephens, SGA’s director of academic and student affairs, said students will have the opportunity to lobby for bills and talk one-on-one with high-ranking state officials.

Stillwell said the meetings can help bridge the gap between students and legislators.

“We don’t get the chance a lot to speak with them, and this is our chance to let our voice be heard,” she said.                     

Stephens said it’s important that SGA gets involved in the rally and show support.

“Since SGA is the voice of the people, I think it is perfect we support this cause, because it effects everything we do as students,” he said. “We know the value of higher education, so we have to be the voice of WKU as well as the state.”