Students from the state-supported universities have changed their tactics in dealing with legislators. No more rallies with chanting students, or massive letter writing campaigns. The student leaders of Iowa, Iowa State and U-N-I are trying a more personal approach to encourage lawmakers to appropriate more money to the universities. U-N-I student body president Jeff Scudder has helped retool his school’s student lobbying effort. He says they’ve tried to come to the legislature repeatedly in small groups to talk with legislators and make a personal connection with legislators. Scudder and small groups of U-N-I students have come to the state capitol once a week for the past month to meet privately with individual legislators. And U-N-I students are writing personal letters to their own legislators.I-S-U student body president T.J. Schneider says the students have abandoned the confrontational approach in favor of collaboration. Schneider says it’s so much of a “rally against the legislature” but instead, trying to find ways to work together to solve problems. And the students aren’t showing up at the capitol in grunge gear. They’re dressed in suits, looking like corporate executives. University of Iowa student body president Nick Herbold says it’s important for the students to have a “legitimate voice,” and not be at the statehouse “screaming, but actually be taken seriously.” Herbold says state budget cuts are hurting the universities, and they need to stop or there are “going to be very bad repercussions.” Republican legislators want to trim another 29-million dollars from the university budgets in the next budgeting year.
You are here: / / University students take a more peaceful approach in lobbying legislature