LSU students plan to protest possible budget cuts, encourage others to join
BATON ROUGE - LSU students are planning to fight pending budget cuts that could affect higher education and the TOPS program.
The state announced a suspension to the TOPS scholarship program, Thursday. Friday morning the state reinstated 80% of the TOPS payments, and instructed the universities to absorb the other 20% of the money. The thought of TOPS ending, and devastating cuts to higher education this year, is the reason students decided to organize, and plan events to protest at the State Capitol.
LSU student, Helen Frink, helped organize a protest last spring, when budget cuts were coming for the fiscal year of 2016. She told News Two, the students want to do something similar, but on a much larger scale.
"Obviously it did some good last year, but we're back here in this mess again so this year we might do a couple of events," Frink said. "It's to say we are serious and it worked last time, because we kinda got what we needed but we're back here again but in a much worse situation."
According to Frink, the students are organizing two events scheduled for Feb. 18th and Feb. 19th. The first will be held on campus, asking students to walk out of their classes and gather at a central location to learn more about the budget crisis. Frink said the second event will be a protest at the state capitol.
Another student, Bianca Webb told News Two she wants to encourage all college students in the state to join at the capitol while the legislature is in session.
"We want this to be an inclusive event to all students. Southern University, BRCC, UL, Xavier, Dilliard; where ever it is you may go to come out here because they need to know while they're in these special meetings and in this session that they need to consider the students."
The legislature will go into executive session for three weeks starting Sunday, Feb. 14th. There they will decide how to balance the budget, including raising taxes, and budget cuts.