SG enlists students to lobby Gov. Bush

Students’ key to avoiding additional tuition increases could be in the mail.

Student Government is requesting students to participate in a campaign to persuade Gov. Jeb Bush to veto tuition increases above the statewide 5 percent increment. SG is hoping that a campaign of student letters supporting the veto will convince the governor that further tuition increases will cause many students financial hardship.

The campaign is opposed to a provision in the education appropriations bill already passed by the Florida Legislature that will permit local boards of trustees to increase tuition above the 5- percent statewide increment. The bill, approved unamended, would allow increments of an additional 5 and 10 percent for in-state and out-of-state tuition respectively.

Each SG senator will seek to obtain a minimum of 10 student letters from their respective colleges. Students participating in the campaign, which will run in conjunction with the lobbying of Bush by the Florida Students Association, will be provided with a standard form letter to use as a model. A bullet-point information sheet, produced by the FSA that gives additional information the student can incorporate into his or her missive, will also be provided.

The campaign was initiated following discussions between SG president Mike Griffin, SG vice president Dave Mincberg and Greg Hyden, director for student lobbying, during the weekend. In a prepared statement, Griffin said he recognized the need for the statewide increment, but additional tuition increases could place many students in financial difficulty.

“Although we realize that we need to raise tuition, raising it at this proposed rate creates a very difficult situation for students,” Griffin said. “It is our hope that Gov. Bush will understand this and protect students from this economic hardship.”

Hyden said it was especially important for students paying out-of-state rates to become involved in the campaign.

“It really affects all students, but especially out-of-state students,” he said.