“No more cuts! No more cuts! No more cuts!”
The cries of faculty, students and members of Shippensburg University’s chapter of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties, called out from the front of Ezra Lehman Memorial Library on Wednesday afternoon, stopping passing students on their way to class.
SU’s chapter of APSCUF, held the rally to disseminate information and in protest of Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed budget cuts to education.
The governor’s recently proposed budget includes a 20 percent cut in funding for the educational system, which would be a loss of $82 million in state funding for the state schools.
“We are a bunch of people in rural Pennsylvania, trying to teach and learn,” said Deborah Jacobs, the APSCUF president of Shippensburg University, “And public higher education is at risk.”
“These cuts would mean a $7.1 million cut to the university if the budget goes through,” said Debra Cornelius, professor of sociology and member of APSCUF.
Among those in attendance included several candidates for local political offices, including Susan Spicka, a candidate from the 89th district and running for the state house; Bill Vinsko, running for the U.S. Senate 11th congressional district seat; and
Karen Ramsburg, an independent candidate for U.S. representative 9th district.
Students as well as faculty had a turn at a microphone that was placed in the middle of the group.
“He’s more like ‘Governor Corporate,’” Elizabeth Bare, a senior at SU, said about the governor.
Junior Nicole Stouffer admitted to on-lookers that without state funding, there is a good chance that she would be unable to continue her college education.
The vice president of SU Student Senate, Ethan Goldbach, was also one of the students to speak out on the harms of the proposed cuts. In his speech, he reminded passing students that state schools originally got 80 percent of their money from the state, thus the name “state” schools.
“Let Gov. Corbett know how our futures will be darkened by the cuts,” Goldbach said.
A table nearby had information about Corbett’s policies, but also had forms to register to vote and absentee ballots. Also nearby was a sign-up sheet to travel to Harrisburg next Wednesday, March 28, for a state-wide Rally for Education.
Buses, sponsored by APSCUF, will be leaving that morning at 10 a.m. to take members of the SU campus to protest along with other students and representatives from the other 13 state schools.