USF students head to Tallahassee to plead for more college funding
1:57 PM, Feb 19, 2013
TAMPA - 75 students packed a bus headed to Tallahassee early Tuesday morning.
23 year-old USF student Chakara Wembley said it was for good reason.
"We're going up there to tell our legislators we need the money. Obviously its for the students, so that's why we're up at 4:30 in the morning," Wembley said.
The money she's referring to, is the hundreds of millions of dollars that Governor Rick Scott has said he will cut from college funding, while keeping tuition costs stable.
Wembley said while funding gets cut, eventually other aspects of student life suffers.
"Grad programs that most of our students go into require funding. For research, tuition and just to be able to stay in college. I just think that it's important that I'm there because I'm a representation of my college," she said.
Budget cuts have slashed at least a billion dollars from college funding in the past six years alone, while tuition costs per semester at USF shot up.
These students, part of the Aim Higher Campaign, organized by student associations at colleges across the state, aim to convince legislators to see things their way.
They also wrote letters and Tuesday headed there in person.
A student we spoke with summed up their feelings.
"Students on this campus try very hard every day, 24 hours a week to get their degree, and a heavy burden on their financial status would just be a terrible thing for them . That's just more reason why I have to go up there," he said.