Students lobby, discuss tuition
This year’s Tiger Pride Day brought high-ranking politicians to speak to Towson students on issues like tuition increases and tax breaks for textbook buys.
Student Government Association Chief of Staff Kennard Wallace said the event is planned in collaboration with the SGA and the President’s Office. Every year, the University takes a group of 60-70 Towson students to Annapolis to lobby to state officials on the school’s behalf. The students who attended the event ranged from SGA members to communications majors and University Residence Government members and other student groups.
Wallace said the legislative agenda consisted of three major issues.
“Civic engagement, such as voter registration programs, a student leadership development program, and the most important one, keeping tuition increases at a modest three percent, a number that the Governor has proposed,” he said.
Wallace said the tuition increase was the biggest hot-button issue for both legislators and students at the event and has prompted further action.
“SGA Senator Zac McGee, as Towson’s member to the USMSC, has co-planned a trip for more Towson students, as well as other students from other public universities within the state of Maryland, to go back down to Annapolis to lobby legislators on the modest three percent increase and nothing higher,” he said.
SGA Director of Legislative Affairs Gayon Sampson said there was a solid discussion between students and officials at the event.
“The legislators responded very positively and seemed very engaged with all of the students who they met with,” Sampson said in an email.
Sampson said other issues were discussed, including supporting funding for need-based financial aid, supporting a tax-free week in the spring and winter semester for the purchase of books, the raise on minimum wage and the support of funding for higher education.
Sampson said this year’s Tiger Pride was different primarily because of the number of elected officials who spoke at the event.
“This year we were able to have with us Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler, Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr., Chancellor William E. Kirwan, Towson Senator James Brochin as well as 10 other legislators come and speak out our reception,” he said.