Iowa City Press-Citizen, IA 02-22-07 Students storm state Capitol

Iowa City Press-Citizen, IA
Students storm state Capitol
Group from UI, Iowa State and UNI visit Des Moines
By Brian Morelli
Iowa City Press-Citizen
A contingent of University of Iowa students today will visit the state Capitol and
team with students from Iowa State University and University of Northern Iowa
to lobby legislators for education funding and predictable tuition.
"We will be stressing the importance of education and financing from the
Legislature," Michael Charles said.
Charles, a UI senior majoring in economics, is the student government chairman
for governmental relations and a student senator.
Although today's visit is associated with the annual student lobby day, Charles
and other UI students have visited Des Moines every Thursday this legislative
The students are lobbying to keep issues important to students in the front of
legislators' minds.
Keeping tuition affordable and at an expected rate throughout a student's college
career is one issue Charles hopes to get across.
"Predictability is very important to be able to do financial planning effectively.
They shouldn't have to come up with $10,000 unexpectedly," Charles said.
The students are trying to create "a better understanding of the pressing issues
financially and academically facing students," Charles said.
Before the session expires, the Legislature must decide on FY 2008 funding for
higher education. The Iowa state Board of Regents asked for a $72 million raise
from last year.
In his nearly $6 billion state budget plan, Gov. Chet Culver called for an
additional $25 million for each university, $12.5 million for community colleges
and additional funds for initiatives such as a new health sciences center at UI,
increasing faculty salaries and scholarship programs.
Seven UI students are signed on to make the 100-mile trip to Terrace Hill,
Charles said. They will speak directly with their hometown representatives to
express their views on the issues and ask for their support in funding for higher
Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City, said the students' regular visits are noticed.
"We have a very strong crop of students this year," Bolkcom said. "They have
been very active at the statehouse. We can use the help on the regent
appropriation lobbying."