On Oct. 20 at 1 p.m., professors, students and administrators will rally on campus addressing the lack of funding that Vermont state colleges receive from the state. The rally will be held outside of Jeffords Hall, weather permitting, or otherwise inside in the lecture hall.
“The intent of the rally is to make people realize that the government in not funding higher education,” said Castleton professor Linda Olson, who has helped coordinate the event “We need that support so school is affordable for Vermont students.”
Olson explained that while Castleton offers one of the lowest tuition rates of Vermont schools, it is one of the highest in the country.
And Vermont currently rates 50th out of 50 states in terms of state funding.
“That is not very good…it doesn’t get much worse than that,” said Olson.
The idea of the rally originally came from VSC faculty and several unions.
They each combined efforts and started “looking into possibilities of holding a rally on each of the VSC campus,” said Olson.
The group then went to students to see if they wanted to join, and they did.
“The reality is that we have been neglected for a long time by the state. It is having an impact on our students and the amount of debt they are accumulating. We really do need to step up and do something,” she said.
The rally at Castleton will feature a speech from Castleton President Dave Wolk and from several students who will tell their stories of how they have been affected by high tuition prices.
“Not only do we want people to understand the importance, but to get behind this because it does impact their education and I really do think the state needs to step up,” she said.
According to Olson, this is only one planned event out of many to come.
“This will be a long campaign. We don’t think we will change anything in one event,” she said.
“This is just the first of many.”