USG members head to Columbus Statehouse

Caitlin Restelli

Two Undergraduate Student Government representatives will participate in the lobbying taking place at the Columbus Statehouse today.

Justin Pierce, executive director of USG, and Kevin Papp, director of Governmental Affairs, were invited by the university to attend the Inter-University Council day at the statehouse to represent the student perspective.

“It’s important that this is happening now because the new legislator just took office in the last month,” said Papp, junior international relations major. “This event is like an orientation for the new legislators and different universities throughout Ohio.”

Papp and Pierce will discuss topics ranging from economic and non-economic benefits of higher education to graduation and retention rates. They will also discuss current issues that affect students.

Pierce said he will address how budget cuts might affect tuition.

“I’ll talk about how burdensome tuition can be on many of our students,” said Pierce, senior finance major.

His main question for legislators will be, “Is raising tuition warranted for the quality and the pay rate of jobs in 2010-2011?”

At the statehouse, Pierce and Papp will work with Kent State administrators and 13 other universities to “bring awareness to issues in higher education,” Pierce said.

Papp said he and Pierce are attending the IUC meeting on their own time and will be providing their own transportation.

“In regards to being at the statehouse, the universities sometimes are forced to raise tuition,” Pierce said. “So if we can advocate that burden to the students to state legislators and cutting our budget, it can be directed at the state level rather than the tough decisions of Kent State’s leadership.”

Contact Caitlin Restelli at [email protected]