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Students strive to save higher education

Friday, December 3, 2010 - 10:39am

The Louisiana Legislature is facing budget cuts, which means higher education could be feeling the effects.

"LSUS is the only four year college in the (Shreveport-Bossier City) area, and if that gets cut out, that gets crippled in any way, then you're only going to have two-year universities around here, which is basically job training.  What people need is career training," Christopher Szabo, one concerned LSUS student told us.

Louisiana Legislature has seen budget shortfalls since 2008, and is cutting expenses in areas like higher education in order to make up for the deficit.  Over the past two years, Louisiana State University in Shreveport has already seen a 27% cut to their budget and expects a 30% cut for the next fiscal year.  Szabo told us that these cuts have caused LSUS to cut programs and classes, which is causing some students' graduation dates to be delayed.

A group of students at LSUS are trying to do something to save higher education by forming an organization called Project: Crisis Call.  "We're basically a group of students trying to raise awareness about the budget cuts coming to higher education and trying to stop them," Szabo explained.  They've started a petition on their website, www.projectcrisiscall.com, which has received about 1300 signatures so far.

Students who joined the organization are trying to raise awareness throughout the community by writing messages on their cars like 'save higher education' along with the organization's website.

In the next few months, the organization plans to work with other higher education institutions in the area in order to rally together against the budget cuts.  "We're going to try to go down to legislature in the Spring, bring our petition and bring some petition signs," Szabo told us of the students' plan to tell the legislature that they "want to work this out."

Even as a senior nearing graduation in May, Szabo doesn't want to see universities like LSUS fall apart due to these types of budget cuts.  Since he has experienced such a great education at the university, he told us that he wants that education to be there for the people that attend the university after him.  "I don't want to see this school go to waste.  I don't want to see this school crippled just because some people don't want to put the effort into saving higher education."

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