Friday, June 29, 2007
Students lobby for OU in Lansing
A group of students from Oakland University went to Lansing on May 30 to lobby against it and fund three state universities through a separate appropriations bill. While there, they met up with Gov. Jennifer Granholm. (Photo courtesy of OUSC)
By Rebecca Wyatt Thomas, OU Web writer
A group of students from Oakland University are upset about a new proposal in Lansing and they are not taking it sitting down. The students went to Lansing on May 30 to lobby against the proposal, which would fund three state universities through a separate appropriations bill.
The proposed measure would put the University of Michigan, Wayne State University and Michigan State University on a separate line item in the state budget than the other 12 state-run institutions, including Oakland University. This arrangement could open the door for the three to receive more in state funding than the other universities in future years. The three institutions were singled out because they are considered the state’s three biggest research universities.
“Here at Oakland University, we do research, even though we aren’t defined as a research university,” said Rob Meyer, OU Student Congress president. “We are only 50 years old. We need the state support to get to the point of the other, older institutions.”
More than 95 percent of Oakland University students are local or come from the state. Once they graduate, many stay within the state. Meyer said students attracted to UM, MSU and WSU come from out of town and many leave after graduation, which doesn’t support the state’s unstable economy.
“Why are we giving money to these universities when our students stay and work and support the economy,” Meyer asked.
The OU students who traveled to Lansing attended a Senate meeting and were introduced. Outside, they held signs touting OU and passed out fliers against the proposal.
Meyer said funding is a concern for all Michigan universities. Oakland University Student Congress wants to bring more attention to Oakland University with once-a-month trips to Lansing. Meyer would like to see more OU students participate in lobbying in Lansing.
For more information on Oakland’s Student Congress, or to get involved with OUSC or the lobbying in Lansing, visit the Student Congress Web site or call (248) 370-4290.