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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Students protest tuition hikes, budget cuts

<p>Gator Student Alliance members Robbey Hayes, a 20-year-old anthropology junior, and Marie Dino, a 20-year-old education sophomore, educate UF students passing through Turlington Plaza on Wednesday afternoon about the cuts that the state is making in education and how it will affect future tuition.</p>

Gator Student Alliance members Robbey Hayes, a 20-year-old anthropology junior, and Marie Dino, a 20-year-old education sophomore, educate UF students passing through Turlington Plaza on Wednesday afternoon about the cuts that the state is making in education and how it will affect future tuition.

Temperatures in the 50s didn't stand in the way of more than 30 students who gathered on Turlington Plaza to talk about their money.

About 10 members of the Gator Student Alliance held a teach-in at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday to inform students about tuition hikes, decreases in the Bright Futures Scholarship Program funding and Florida's education cuts.

The alliance discussed its mission for about 20 minutes.

"We have cut education more than any other state in the United States," said Cassia Laham, a 22-year-old political science senior and state coordinator for the alliance.

"Unemployment has doubled since 2008 - that's since my freshman year," she said.

Speakers used charts to help students understand Florida's education funding and the steady decline of Bright Futures financing.

"That's a huge reason I'm at a state school - because of the cost," said Heather Rosenblatt, an 18-year-old psychology freshman.

Standing up against UF's yearly 15 percent tuition increase is important, she said.

The alliance is rallying against tuition increases at 1:30 p.m. today on Turlington Plaza. Members will follow the rally with a march to the Board of Trustees' meeting in Emerson Alumni Hall to propose their mandates.

The group plans to demand the Board of Trustees to vote against yearly tuition increases, said Chrisley Carpio, a 19-year-old history sophomore and head organizer and facilitator for the alliance.

Gator Student Alliance members Robbey Hayes, a 20-year-old anthropology junior, and Marie Dino, a 20-year-old education sophomore, educate UF students passing through Turlington Plaza on Wednesday afternoon about the cuts that the state is making in education and how it will affect future tuition.

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