Mount Union College Students to Sign Student Choice Grant Petitions

April 22, 2010

Mount Union College students will have the option of signing petitions on Monday, April 16 in response to Governor Strickland's budget proposal to cut $900 per student from the Ohio Student Choice Grant program.

Eric Matthews, the director of the center of public service and assistant professor of political science, who initiated the petition signing, said the petition letters are also in response to the comments made by several representatives within the General Assembly that '$900 is not a lot of money to a college student at a private school.'

'The reality is it's a large sum of money and students are outraged,' Matthews said.

Matthews also makes a point by saying if the General Assembly is willing to take away $900 for a private school student and that student elects to attend a public university, the state now contributes $3600. Students can do the math and it appears as though these numbers don't add up, Matthews said.

'The belief is that rich parents send their kids to private schools so let's take away the money,' Matthews said. 'If the true measure is equality, can we expect the state to take money away from public universities who have 'rich' students attending?'

Matthews said if the bill passes, more than 77 percent of Mount Union students will lose financial assistance that they rely heavily upon to attend school.

'If indeed our country is founded upon the principles of democracy and civic engagement and that every voice should be heard and that every voice matters, then students should be involved in the process,' Matthews said. 'What we have to recognize is that these students will be voting in the next election as well. This speaks to the overall concern by the students.'

Matthew's goal is to have 3000 letters signed so he and other Mount Union faculty and students can deliver them to Columbus where the decision is being made by representative democracy.

'This would indicate 100% involvement by faculty, students and staff on campus,' Matthews said.

Students will have the option of signing this petition next week in front of the dining hall.

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