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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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Ohio students deliver petition against tuition rise to Statehouse

(U-WIRE) KENT, Ohio — Students delivered a petition with 15,060 signatures to the Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio, Thursday letting lawmakers know they’re angry tuition is rising due to the lack of state support.

The College Democrats founded the petition at Kent State University, and it started circulating in November. Most of the signatures were collected from Kent State students, and the petition then circulated to different state universities.

“Our mission was to try to get the message across: Stop cutting funding to raise our tuition,” said Jeremy Broadwater, political director for College Democrats and executive director-elect of the Undergraduate Student Senate.

Broadwater joined College Democrats and student governments from other state universities Thursday at the Statehouse. He was the only representative from Kent State.

He said the students delivered the petition to Senate Minority Leader Greg DiDonato. Then lawmakers spoke at a rally about the ramifications of losing state money for higher education.

Broadwater said one of the rally’s messages concerned the correlation between the voter turnout of young people and cuts in higher education.

Voter turnout for 18- to 24-year-olds is low. Broadwater said the lawmakers said when they get into office, their priority is to keep their jobs. To do this, they respond to issues that will get them votes. Since voter turnout for college-aged people is low, issues like the rising costs of going to college aren’t their priority.

“This is a classic example of why votes count,” Broadwater said.

Sean Buchanan, treasurer for College Democrats and USS senator-elect for governmental affairs, collected signatures at the M.A.C. Center last semester. He said he’s proud the petition was delivered, but there is still work to do.

“The real sense of pride comes in when people pay attention,” he said. “The signatures are an important start, but next we get the state to listen, and we’re not there yet.”

Broadwater said the next step will be to figure out how to inform students about the importance of voting.

He also said besides the lawmakers at the rally, people aren’t paying attention to their message of getting more state money for higher education.

“It appears our causes are falling on deaf ears,” Broadwater said.

Kent State President Carol Cartwright said anything that can be done to raise awareness about state budget cuts is significant.

“It is important to keep the message about the importance of higher education out in front of the public and keep reinforcing the balance between low state support and tuition,” Cartwright said.

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