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Students set 1,500 goal in letter campaign to fight proposed cuts to USF

Posted Feb 21, 2012 by Lindsay Peterson

Updated Feb 21, 2012 at 05:52 PM

USF students were treated pretty shabbily by some members of the Senate Budget Committee last week, but they haven’t been scared away.

USF Polytechnic students plan to return to Tallahassee on Thursday for the Senate debate on a state budget that includes severe cuts to USF and a plan to shut down Poly.

On the Tampa campus, student government reps are collecting letters from students to deliver to lawmakers.

They already have about 200, and they’ll be out again at the Bull Market on campus from 10 a.m to 3 p.m.

Their goal: at least 1,500.

The Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Office is piggybacking on the enthusiasm, planning to set up a booth to register students to vote.

The letter-writing effort will conclude on Thursday at 7 p.m. with a Rally to Save USF at the Martin Luther King Plaza.

There may, however, be some resolution to the problem by then. State Sen. Jim Norman has introduced amendments to moderate the proposed cuts and they may be heard on Thursday afternoon.

If they don’t pass, however, the fight goes into the budget negotiation process, where House and Senate members have to resolve their differences.

But Norman will have allies there among House leaders who have already spoken out against the cuts.

Not that all is well. USF’s state support goes down by about 9 percent under the House plan. But that looks good next to the 40 percent USF stands to loose under the Senate plan.

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