Students from across the state are gathering at the N.C. General Assembly today to lobby legislators for minimal cuts to the UNC-system’s budget.
The UNC Association of Student Governments is hosting its annual Students Day at the Capital to ask legislators to maintain campus flexibility when it comes to budget cuts, keep tuition revenues on campuses and fully-fund need-based financial aid.
If you go
Time: Meetings start at 9:30
The last meeting is scheduled for 4:30
Where: Legislative Building, Raleigh
ASG President Atul Bhula said turnout is expected to be three times higher than last year, which was about 20 students.
The UNC system is facing up to 15 percent cuts in the coming year.
Wayne Kimball, student body president at N.C. Agricultural and Technical State University, said he has arranged a bus to bring 46 students from his campus to the capital.
Kimball said he encouraged his fellow students to participate by making Facebook groups and holding student forums.
About 60 to 70 meetings are scheduled with legislators throughout the day.
Students from distant areas of the state stayed in a hotel Tuesday night and were able to discuss last-minute plans in persuading legislators to listen to their needs.
Deanna Santoro, the associate vice president of legislative public affairs for ASG, said she and Josh Cotton, the vice president of legislative public affairs, assigned students to certain legislators.
“We’re really trying to get them to think about commonalities they might have with one another so they can at least break the ice,” Cotton said about students interacting with legislators.
Santoro said members of the committee have been planning the event for months.
“Every month since August, we’ve had workshops on techniques,” Santoro said.
At previous association meetings, Santoro and Cotton led different workshops that taught members how to be effective when talking with legislators.
Cotton’s training session taught general knowledge about the legislature, while Santoro gave presentations about the power of the personal story when lobbying.
“It’s been a pretty long road,” Cotton said.
“We’ve worked really hard on this.”
UNC-CH Student Body President Hogan Medlin prepared for the day by sending an e-mail to legislators detailing student’s priorities.
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