The president of the University of Northern Iowa student body says he was surprised to hear Senator Shawn Hamerlick, a Republican from Dixon, tell student body representatives he didn’t and to hear their budget concerns and to “go home.” Spencer Walrath, says the comments to him and his counterparts at Iowa and Iowa State during the Senate Education Appropriations Committee hearing Monday was unusual.
“This is the first time that I think any of us had every experienced a senator or representative, a legislator of any kind, speaking to us that way,” Walrath says, “generally they thank you for your time, they might disagree with you sure, they’re generally very kind about it and simply voice their concerns and say they are going to do what is right. This is the first time that any of us had been treated so rudely I guess.” Walrath says testifying before legislators is not something the student leaders take lightly.
He says it’s disappointing to work hard and do the research to prepare their remarks, and says it is a “very intimidating experience” anyway to testify before legislators. “To go down there and to give our remarks and to be told by that one senator that we weren’t welcome, is a real let down I guess,” Walrath says. Walrath says schools simply can’t cut their budgets any further as says he believes it’s an accurate representation to say they have cut the fat from the bone, cut the meat from the bone and now all they have left is the marrow.
By Jesse Gavin, KCNZ, Cedar Falls