STUDENTS SHOW SUPPORT FOR HIGHER EDUCATION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 6, 2012 

STUDENTS SHOW SUPPORT FOR HIGHER EDUCATION

(TOPEKA) – Today, nearly 100 students from the six state universities participated in the 2012 Higher Education Day at the State Capitol. Students met with House of Representatives and Senate members to discuss higher education issues.

“The students that participated in today’s events are ambassadors for higher education,” said Tyler Thompson, Chair of the Kansas Board of Regents Students’ Advisory Committee and Student Government Association President at Fort Hays State University. “We are more than just student leaders; we represent the future of Kansas businesses, communities, and the state. We understand the benefit of achieving a higher education and want to help legislators understand how issues affect students.”

Student representatives discussed a variety of issues with Legislators, including the rising level of student debt and tuition costs and the contributions higher education makes to the Kansas economy. Students also discussed opposition to House Bill 2353, which proposes amendments to the Personal and Family Protection Act, allowing guns on college and university campuses and requiring additional security screening measures.

“Concealed weapons have no purpose on college and university campuses,” said Thompson. “A majority of student representatives at the six state universities, Emporia State University, Fort Hays State University, Kansas State University, Pittsburg State University, the University of Kansas and Wichita State University, oppose the proposed amendment to the conceal and carry law, and we wanted to help Legislators understand our position. The addition of any weapon on our campuses introduces risks that complicate the mission of our campus police and threatens the safety of students, faculty and staff. Alternatively, the addition of airport-style security measures at every campus building would stagnate the collegiate atmosphere and poses an unnecessary daily burden to students, faculty, and staff. Imagine having to show up to class two-hours early to get through security? It is necessary at airports, not at college and university campuses.”

Following the day of lobbying, students participated in a service project at the Topeka YMCA, serving as mentors to participants of after school programs.

“As recent high school graduates we wanted to have the opportunity to help current students understand the benefits of higher education,” said Thompson. “Partnering with the YMCA is a great way for us to give back to the community and mentor the next generation of Kansas business, community, and state leaders.”


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About the Kansas Board of Regents:
The nine-member Kansas Board of Regents, founded in 1925 and established in the Kansas Constitution, is the governing board of the six state universities and the statewide coordinating board for the state’s 32 public higher education institutions (six state universities, one municipal university, 19 community colleges, and six technical colleges). In addition, the Board administers the state’s student financial aid, adult education, GED, career and technical education programs, and the state university retirement plans. The Board also approves private proprietary schools and out-of-state institutions to operate in Kansas, and administers the Kan-ed network, a statewide network that provides broadband Internet access and distance learning capabilities for schools, hospitals, and libraries.

For more information contact Mary Jane Stankiewicz at (785) 296-3421 or mjstankiewicz@ksbor.org.

Visit the Kansas Board of Regents online at www.kansasregents.org.