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Students protest UNC system budget cuts

Posted March 27, 2013

— A college students' group protested in downtown Raleigh Wednesday morning against suggestions that proposed cuts for the state's public universities could include closing some University of North Carolina system campuses.

About a dozen protesters from the NC Student Power Union demonstrated outside the North Carolina Department of Administration building on West Jones Street, saying Gov. Pat McCrory's proposed budget cuts to the UNC system could price many students out of getting a university education.

"I've worked hard to be able to go to school," said Western Carolina University student Thomas Allison. "We've seen tuition increase and we've seen budget cuts, and we see the effects in all of our schools. I don't want to lose my education and I'm willing to work for it, but if it gets too much, there's only so much you can do."

In a Power Union statement Wednesday, UNC-Greensboro student Carla Guzman said eliminating campuses would hurt historically black colleges and universities as well as schools in rural, poor communities. 

"All North Carolina public universities are essential to the local economies they are a part of. The way to grow our state’s economy is not to cut our children’s future or divest from education. We should be investing more resources into quality public education. We cannot tolerate any further attacks on working families and public schools.”

A top Republican budget-writer in the state Senate said last week that colleagues likely will consider whether it makes sense to cut some of the 17 UNC campuses. Sen. Pete Brunstetter of Forsyth County says potential consolidation will get a hard look by lawmakers.

"I think our members definitely envision that there could be some consolidation between campuses, and we might need to from 16 down to 15, 14 – something like that," Brunstetter said. 

McCrory last week proposed cutting more than $140 million in state funds for the UNC system next year. He also recommends increasing out-of-state tuition by 12 percent at places like UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University and four other campuses.

The North Carolina Legislative Black Caucus say the closures would be a big setback for higher education in the state.

"That's going to the hurt the quality of education, the quality of teaching, the quality of research, the quality of everything that's in these institutions," Rep. Mickey Michaux, D-Durham, said last week.

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  • ritablueboys1 Mar 27, 2013

    edrhathaway2 I never said it was someone else's responsibility. Jobs are hard to come by these days when you are trying to put yourself through school.I know what it's like to look for a job and can't have one because I don't have the amount of education that the employer is looking for or I lack the experience. It's not my fault that the person won't hire me and allow me the chance to gain the experience that I need.In regards about the loans, once someone signs up for a loan, he or she has to pay it back. I can't pay a loan back if I don't have a job right? I can't sell drugs to fund my education because you'd be complaining that I'm a criminal and don't want to fund me staying in jail. You can't have it both ways.

  • rosannedisney Mar 27, 2013

    Kudos to the students for standing up for their educational opportunities!

  • Stilllearnin Mar 27, 2013

    LOL just who do you think will be paying for your soc. sec. and medicare? Thats right...its those kids

    Maybe and maybe not, but since I have paid into the system for over 35 years I guess it's only fair since I was paying for their parents/grandparents for all these years!

  • Terkel Mar 27, 2013

    I doubt the clerk who looks at the EEO screening report is making a bloated salary. Do you want to tell us the school used to have 20 doing that, or what?

  • Terkel Mar 27, 2013

    "Students, here is legitimate cause to protest, but I'm sure you students voted for this:

    Actuaries groups offers sobering look at the rising costs for individual insurance coverage plans under Obama health law." Proud Blk Cons

    Why should they protest? They're on Mommy's policy till they're 26.

  • yankee1 Mar 27, 2013

    Do you get it? Is it not sinking it??????

    Oh they get edrhathaway2, they just don't care! In their little liberal world everything is a right. They're just not willing to fight for it or pay for it. It's all about being owed a free ride. The 60's clan grew up whining and moaning to mommy and daddy the little Johnny next door had a fancy car, Nikes, a cell phone, shopped at Aeropostale and had five Nintendo games. Mommy and daddy, having the need to be friends rather than parents ran out and obliged. Now the country is suffering the consequences. Time to stand up and so no! Kudos to the NC Legislature for showing the guts to figure it out. The question is will they have the guts to finish the job?

  • edrhathaway2 Mar 27, 2013

    geosol...you see, you still don't get it. you speak of "tax credits". remember, the MONEY is someone else's before the govt takes it. Would I like to have what Bill Gates has? SURE. Do I deserve to take it via the governemnt? NO. Maybe I can build something for him, write some code, paint his house and earn it. You see, when people like you talk about rich people's jets, you seem to forget that good, hardworking craftspeople build those jets. If Billy Gates doesn't buy one, those people are out of a job. Do you get it? Is it not sinking it??????

  • geosol Mar 27, 2013

    Shame on these students!!!! Who do they expect to pay for the REPUBLICAN tax credits to millionaires and big business? The poor and the middle class can try to fend for themselves, we've got RICH people that need REPUBLICAN assistance again now.

  • yankee1 Mar 27, 2013

    Education is a right? Really? Tell you what kiddies, when you can pay for it yourselves, you have the right to have the opportunity to get it. You have absolutely no right to demand other people pay for it! This is the bs you've been fed by your liberal professors, politicians and friends. Time for you to start taking care of yourselves! The free ride is about to end just like it has in Greece, Spain and the other countries that bought into the same nonsense!

  • Nancy Mar 27, 2013

    A new generation of the "victim mentality" being 'educated' at our state university.

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