Thursday, February 08, 2007

Rally for Higher Education

I was unable to make it yesterday due to weather conditions. Anyway, here are some of the articles published in the paper as well as the speech delivered by State Treasurer and gubernatorial candidate Jonathan Miller.

The Herald Leader notes that Jonathan Miller got the biggest cheers despite the governor calling for more student aid.
Miller, one of seven Democrats running for governor, delivered a brisk speech that quickly set up a rousing call-and-response between Miller, 39, and his audience of twentysomethings.

Miller told his listeners that they had the power to do something about their issues, including high tuition.

"The time is now, the place is here and the moment is ours," he called out and continued to repeat as he spoke. The students picked up the words and the rhythm, sending their enthusiastic chant echoing up and down the Capitol Rotunda.

"I loved his speech," said Emily Wells, 18, a first-year student in police studies at Eastern Kentucky University. "He really got into our culture."

She was referring, in part, to Miller's urging that the students go to, a popular Web site, and "tell everybody that you're a friend of Jonathan Miller."

Kyra Kendrick, 19, a sophomore psychology major at the University of Louisville, said Miller "seemed more sincere."

"He came up and shook hands with everybody before they spoke," she said.

Chris Seals, 20, a U of L junior majoring in psychology, called Miller "inspirational" and "innovative."

"He was moving," Seals said.

Saying "this state cannot afford any more of its old-time politics," Miller told the students that higher education has been hurt by the elimination of the Bucks for Brains matching-funds for the universities. He named no villains, but he said the constant rise in tuition is putting a heavy burden "on the backs of those who can least afford it."

Earlier, Fletcher said that tuition at the state's universities had gone up 145 percent during the last 10 years and he wants to see legislators address this issue in their current session and in 2008.
Perhaps someone should ask Governor Fletcher as to why he denied new dorms in the state budget last year.

Secretary of State Trey Grayson also addressed the crowd in attendance.
Republican and Secretary of State Trey Grayson also addressed the crowd of students, telling them they must remain engaged with lawmakers all year long – and not just one day each year while lawmakers are in session – if they want to have an impact on higher education costs and accessibility.

“Contact your legislators and urge them to support higher education,” Grayson said, and he said they must do that all 365 days of the year. “This doesn’t stop today – it begins today.”
The Kentucky Kernal also had a write up on the rally.

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