The Student Government Association is preparing to attend Higher Education Day on Thursday, Feb. 23, in Montgomery.
Higher Education Day is a rally where public colleges and universities in the state of Alabama gather at the state Capitol for a rally to advocate for higher education funding.
Gordon Stone, executive director of Higher Education Partnership from Pike Road, talked to the SGA about the importance of the upcoming event.
“Higher education has a $20 billion economic impact on the state of Alabama,” Stone said. “It is important for Alabamians to advocate for better higher education policy and more funding in order to increase the number of Alabamians with a four-year degree, which is currently below average.”
Stone encourages students to attend Higher Ed Day to voice their opinions, thoughts and concerns to policy-makers and state officials.
“It is an opportunity for all students, faculty and staff to come together and communicate with elected officials about higher education,” Stone said. “We except to see 2,000 students from all 14 universities there.
“The SGA has made it easy for students to attend; transportation, breakfast, buttons and other amenities will be provided as well as class excuses. Students will also get to meet representatives from funding committees of the House and Senate.”
Laken Berry, a junior social work major from Athens and chair of the student welfare committee, said that she will attend the conference and encourages other students to attend as well.
“Higher Ed Day is one of the best opportunities for us as college students to get involved and have a say in our government,” Berry said. “The day is fun, empowering, a great way to meet people and makes a statement to the government that we are Troy and we want our education to be funded as well as other people our age across the states.”
“The percentage of funds given to college in Alabama, and Troy in particular, is unacceptable!” Berry added.
The SGA has set a goal to bring 250 Troy students to the rally event, and they will provide free transportation, free breakfast and a button for the first 250 signed up.
The buses will be departing at 9 a.m. in the back parking lot of the Trojan Center in preparation for the parade in Montgomery at 10:30 a.m.
Anyone else wishing to attend is encouraged to do so. In addition to the first 250, those in attendance will also receive a free lunch and class excuse.
An electronic link will be available for signups beginning Wednesday, Feb. 1. The SGA will host a table in the Trojan Center on Tuesday, Feb. 7, allowing students to register their attendance.