About 60 students from Iowa, Iowa State and U-N-I are at the statehouse this afternoon, asking lawmakers to provide more state support for the universities. Iowa State University student body president Mike Banasiak says all the students have something to say and went to the statehouse because they care about their educations, their universities and the state of Iowa. Nate Green, the student body president at the University of Iowa, says some of his friends have had to quit for a semester to raise money for higher tuition. Green says state officials rarely get a chance to interact with students, and the students at the statehouse wanted to “put a face” on the universities and give lawmakers an idea of their ambitions and their problems. University of Northern Iowa student body president Emiliano Lerda says the quality of the state-supported universities is being damaged by state budget cuts. Lerda says the students who came to Des Moines wanted to tell lawmakers “public higher education” is very important to the state’s future. Governor Tom Vilsack attended this afternoon’s student-led rally, and urged the students to tell their stories to lawmakers. Vilsack says Iowa has three great public universities, and it’s important for the state to continue to provide tax dollars for the institutions so they can continue to be “our universities.” Vilsack also warned that faculty in Ames, Iowa City and Cedar Falls will soon start flocking to other college which offer better pay.
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