UH students rally for restoration of funds


POSTED: Wednesday, December 09, 2009

About a dozen to two dozen students at a time waved signs in front of the state Capitol yesterday afternoon, urging the Legislature to restore funds to the University of Hawaii.

UH-Manoa undergraduate student body President Mark K. Ing said the students are lobbying to restore at least part of the $154 million cut by the governor and the Legislature for the 10-campus university system.

Ing pointed to the governor's proposal to use $50 million from the state's rainy day fund to reduce Furlough Fridays for the public schools and said the governor and the Legislature should also look at restoring funds for public higher education.

The UH Student Caucus, which represents about 58,000 students at different campuses, passed a resolution asking for at least $50 million for public higher education and for lawmakers to work with student government leaders to help restore some funding to UH.

The UH system is “;necessary for Hawaii's economy,”; Ing said.

Students are suffering from the loss of about 500 classes at UH-Manoa dropped because of budget cuts, he said.

Student government leaders might also consider a resolution asking UH faculty to take a proposed 5 percent pay cut to help restore classes, Ing said.

Students waved signs saying “;Hawaii needs UH”; at passing cars on Beretania Street. The Associated Students of the University of Hawaii paid about $1,000 for a bus to shuttle students to the Capitol from UH-Manoa for the rally from about 12:30 to 4 p.m., Ing said.

While the turnout for yesterday's rally was low, Ing said they were able to recruit new students interested in getting involved in the effort to lobby the Legislature and the governor.