SGA chief of staff gives update on Higher Education Day 2021



SGA Chief of Staff Kathlynn Short gave an update on Higher Education Day 2021 during the senate meeting Wednesday.

Students will lobby together virtually during higher education day 2021, Student Government Association Chief of Staff Kathlynn Short said during the senate meeting Wednesday. 

Higher education day is a chance for students to lobby the Kansas Legislature and ask for funding for their universities. 

“It’s a chance for schools to send students to say ‘Hey, this is why higher education deserves funding’,” Short said. “Every year we do it and this year we are requesting the same baseline funding that we received last year.”

Due to budget cuts presented by Governor Laura Kelly, Short said the main focus of this year’s higher education day is to advocate to receive no cuts. Last year, KBOR universities received 643.6 million dollars. Kelly’s plan gives universities a roughly 42 million cut.

“[The cut] will not benefit us,” Short said. “So what we’re doing this year is asking that we do not receive that cut.”

“[Funding] allows schools to keep tuition low … which makes schools accessible and affordable and as an out of state student myself, I know that that is important.”

Short said that funding is also important because of ‘the brain drain’— when students go to a Kansas university, graduate, then pursue jobs elsewhere and leave the state.

“To grow our great state we need to keep our great graduates,” Short said. “The better funded schools are, the more likely we are to actually keep those students in the state after they graduate.”

Short said this year, another goal is to advocate for better funded mental health services.

“It makes for safer campuses, and it makes for safer students and that should be a focus of all of us,” she said.

Short is advocating for students to participate because of not only the benefits of all the universities in Kansas, but because it will grow students’ knowledge about lobbying.