Student “Human Shields” Mob State Capitol

LSU students converge on Louisiana Capitol to rally against potentially devastating cuts to higher education

BY Elizabeth Crisp

Hundreds of LSU students and supporters crowded the steps of the State Capitol on Thursday, shouting at legislators who were meeting inside over the threat of potentially devastating cuts to higher education funding in the coming year.

“We will not go silently,” said Justin DiCharia, a junior mass communications major and one of the organizers of the rally. “Silence is surrender; today they will hear our voices.”

While LSU students rallied outside the Capitol on Thursday, groups from all 13 schools in the Louisiana Community and Technical College System held a demonstration of their own inside. At booths spread across the main hall, students demonstrated how community colleges are addressing the state’s workforce needs in high-demand fields.

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5 Responses to “Student “Human Shields” Mob State Capitol”

  1. Bob Sherunkel Says:

    There are really two questions in play in as much as I can see; Are there more valid cuts than higher education? or, Is the funding in question “owed” to someone?

    There is little doubt there are cuts, 1000’s of them, that can be made in other areas. Some of those cuts are perfectly valid and many of those cuts have been politically protected from any budget cut. Most, but certainly not all, of the protected budgetary items are political favors tossed toward one constiuancy or another. So I guess that would make the answer to question 1, “yes, but.”

    All things within any budget are connected. Professors as well as custodial staff live here, buy things, pay taxes, etc. etc. If anything, I would be more sympathetic toward them over the proposed budget cuts but certainly not the students. While they have a financial impact, they are, for the most part, takers rather than producers. Yes, they are potential producers but for now, they are takers.

    (I’d love to see a statistical breakdown of the percentage of students in Louisiana universities that are liberal arts majors.)

    You want to save higher education dollars? Abandon the idea that we should be a state with a college within arms reach of any neighborhood. You can’t fall down in Louisiana without hitting your head on a university. They are almost as numerous as pizza joints which will probably be the employer of many of the liberal arts majors on graduation.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Why the disrespect toward the liberal arts? Do you expect to have an informed citizenry without them?

    The founders of this country, and the framers of the Constitution, would be sorely disappointed at this attitude. Let’s change it, and focus on what’s most important for the republic.

    • Bob Sherunkel Says:

      No real disrespect intended. I, in fact, have one of those vaunted degrees. I do find it interesting however that we have so many art, music, graphic design, etc degrees being pursued, yet you rarely see jobs listed for same. We are producing far too many of them who, if they are to find gainful employment, will be seeking outside of their chosen field in order to gain ANY employment.

      Maybe there’s a reason that “starving artist” is a term while “starving engineer” or “starving nurse” is unheard of.

      • Anonymous Says:

        I understand, and sympathize too. I would add, though, that the fields you mentioned are technically in the Fine Arts, not the liberal arts. Equating the two often gives the latter a reputation it does not deserve.

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