At last night’s State of the Campus Address, members discussed state funding.
On Jan. 24, Temple Student Government held its fourth State of the Campus address in which the university’s commonwealth appropriations and the upcoming Rally for Higher Education were discussed.
TSG members said the university currently receives $172 million from the state and is in jeopardy of losing 10 to 30 percent of this funding, which translates to approximately $17.2 to $51.6 million.
With approximately 20 percent of the university’s operating funds originating from commonwealth appropriations, a cut in funding would severely impact students and the community.
Public Affairs Communication Manager Andrew McGinley highlighted the reasoning behind a potential cut in state funding.
“It’s not that the commonwealth doesn’t want to fund higher education,” McGinley said. “Simply put, it’s that the money’s not there.”
McGinley said Governor Tom Corbett is not in favor of tax increases, and since there is a $4 to $5 billion dollar shortfall in Pennsylvania’s $28 billion budget, he said the money has to come from cuts.
The university’s funds, McGinley said, are currently used to “keep tuition costs down” and “spur economic development.”
“Without these state funds,” McGinley said, “it becomes increasingly difficult to do all of those things.”
McGinley said a cut in state funding has been a threat before. In 2009, he said, funding was “held up” in response to the closing of North East Hospital and other political issues.
In response, he said, students, organizations and staff of the university community sent out letters and signed a petition asking elected officials to pass funding.
In the current fight for state funding, TSG is hosting the Rally for Higher Education on Tuesday, Feb. 15 in Harrisburg with the Pennsylvania Association of State-related Students.
TSG is also urging students to contact their state representative through the Temple Advocates Legislative Outreach Network’s letter writing campaign to support higher education and the university.
Student-Body President Ramos-Castillo said that the trip to Harrisburg will “mean millions” and that by letting students’ voices be heard, elected officials will be strongly impacted.
“We’re going to Harrisburg to show these state legislators that we are the faces of the future,” Ramos-Castillo said. “We are the next generation of nurses, teachers [and] politicians.”
Cary Carr can be reached at email@example.com.