WKU Stages Classroom Walk-Out

By: Taylor Vinson Email
By: Taylor Vinson Email

Western Kentucky University students sang their fight song on campus, but not in support of a team.

Instead, they were cheering for change.

Many students walked out of class on Oct. 25 and rallied for more money to be given to the school from the state.

“I think for a lot of them, it was just the chance to get out of class. But I know there are a lot of people here too that know what's going on and they're doing it for the right reasons," explained Zach Smith, a freshman at WKU.,

According to Western's Student Government Association, the state legislature approved 54-percent of the recommended budget for Western for 2006 to 2008, cutting funds by over $17-million.

The association's president, Jeanne Johnson, says the school should have more funding.

"Really, what we're asking is that the state legislators put higher education at the top of their funding priorities," Johnson said.

Local state representative Jim DeCesare says he does all he can to get more money to Western and Warren County.

"I'm always pushing for as much funding as we can possibly get to this area because those are our tax dollars that we want to return to the area," DeCesare assured.

He cautioned that no school gets 100-percent of their budget recommendation.

"There's no way the state could fund 100-percent for everyone without raising taxes and going back to the citizens of Kentucky and asking for more money," DeCesare added.

But Jeanne Johnson believes schools need more funding to meet educational goals set by the state.

"We're crying out, don't set these goals for us that are unobtainable if you're not funding us to reach those goals," Johnson said.

The SGA hopes Western's "walk-out" will impact their state legislators to demand more money for WKU, as well as all public universities across the Commonwealth.

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