Hundreds of Alabama college students are taking advantage of the legislative session to speak out for more funding for their universities. Today, they gathered on the steps of the state house to take their message directly to the legislators for the annual Higher Ed Day.
"The main goal is so that we can remind our legislative leaders and our constitutionally elected leadership that universities make a difference. We change lives and the best way to know that is to look across that podium and into the eyes of those young people," said Gordon Stone, Executive Director of the Higher Education Partnership in Alabama.
Troy University SGA President Will Thompson says more than 250 students from Troy came to the rally, because he says they want state representatives to know how important the funding is.
"I think that, you know, anything that the state legislature can do to allocate more funds to higher education, that means that Troy University individually is going to get a lot more funding," said Thompson.
e says universities have lost 28 percent in funding from the state in the last 5 years. He says that's what this rally is all about. "We've had over 1,500, 2,000 people that come here over the last 5 years, and their goal is to make sure that the legislators understand that we need to be funded and funded at a level that is competitive," he said.
Students at Troy say they want to be competitive too-with other schools, for that limited money. "T
roy does need a voice here at the capitol to really, to get more funding for Troy. We don't have the tendency to get the same funding as like Alabama and Auburn and we just want to come out and show that we do need that same support," said Troy student Paul Evans.
A total of 15 universities from across Alabama turned out for Higher Ed Day. Higher Education Partnership officials say they'd like to see that number grow even more next year.