Few Clarion University students have managed to escape the negative effects of the current state budget crisis. Student Senate President Jarrett Boxley proposed an idea to get students involved in letting the government know that something needs to be done.
On Monday, Nov. 9, all Clarion University students received an email that contained a message from Boxley. The email called students to action to help him and Student Senate grab the attention of Pennsylvania’s State Gov. Tom Wolf and other legislators.
Attached in the email was a template of a letter to Gov. Wolf as well as a website (http://www.legis.state.pa.us/) where students can find the addresses of any other legislator they wish to reach out to.
The letter starts by addressing the fact that the writer is a Clarion University student who, along with peers, is affected by the standstill in the budget decision that is historically settled much earlier in the fiscal year.
It then goes on to say that students are concerned that Democrat Wolf and the legislature, which is mostly controlled by Republicans, will take longer to come to an agreement on the spending plan. It then goes on to explain how the students are impacted by the funding issue. Students were also encouraged to write in their personal accounts of how the crisis has affected them along with their opinions on the matter in the form letter.
As recently as Oct. 9, $966,000 of state-funded awards from PHEAA grants to National Guard payments have yet to be distributed to the students’ accounts. This affects students because it impacts their ability to pay for textbooks and other necessary supplies.
In turn, students’ grades can be affected since they do not have access to the supplies they need to succeed. Poor grades can lead to the possibility of retention problems, which would cause students to lose future aid opportunities and scholarships. Not only are grades and future aid at stake, but without this money, students are delayed in paying landlords who accept refund checks as payment.
The next section of the letter is open and invites students to personalize it by telling their own story of how they are affected by the budget debate. This is in hopes that those in charge will be swayed by hearing personal, emotional accounts than just a formal plea.
In the concluding paragraph, the letter states that Clarion University is trying its best to help students find alternative solutions to obtaining funds until the budget is passed. The letter states what the students really need is the budget to be agreed upon so they do not have to continue worrying about money and can focus more on their studies. The letter is concluded with a thank you and a hope that something comes out of the stalemate soon.
Anyone who is interested in participating in having their voices heard can download the letter from email and personalize it. After being personalized, the letters should be mailed out as soon as possible. Letters can also be dropped off at the Clarion Students’ Association office located in 278 Gemmell, and all postage costs will be paid courtesy of CSA.
President Boxley extends his thanks to everyone in advance for participation and said he hopes that all voices get heard and officials will be motivated to reach an agreement.
Visit the webpage for Student Senate.