Students to speak with legislators about budget

USF students take their concerns to Tallahassee today to speak with legislators about a possible $31-million budget cut the university could face.

USF President Judy Genshaft, along with about 80 USF supporters, including faculty and Board of Trustee members, will act as lobbyists at the Legislative Session for USF Day at the Capitol.

Student body President Mike Griffin said Capitol Day puts a “face to the university” in that students will act as lobbyists to express their concerns with budget cuts in attempt to bring back more funds to USF.

However, Griffin said the focus of this year’s event is to propose a resolution Student Government drafted for student life. But, because legislators will be meeting with committees, SG will not be given the opportunity.

The purpose of the student life resolution was to inform others that USF is “not entirely a commuter school,” and that most students are active in university activities, said Greg Hyden, chairman for USF Day at the Capitol.

Hyden said although legislators will be in committees for the day, students will be given an opportunity to speak with them later.

“It’s better for students this way because they will be able to get one-on-one time with the legislators,” Hyden said. “We get to show them that the students are here and that we are interested.”

Last year, about 75 students attended the event and a resolution was passed to honor USF’s Division I-A football team.

Susan MacManus, political science professor at USF, will also attend the event along with some students from the Political Science Honor Society.

“My students are very interested in politics and want to be closer to the government action,” MacManus said. “They also want to show their pride for USF.”

MacManus said, USF and Florida State University attended Capitol Day at the same time last year.

“We really wowed everyone,” MacManus said. “Our presence was more visible than FSU’s ,even though they have a natural advantage of being in Tallahassee.”