USUAA Pushes Back Against Budget Cuts with Postcard Campaign

by Ammon Swenson

Proposed cuts to the University of Alaska system are around 25 million dollars. With UAA already having to make its own cuts, the university’s student government is pushing back.

USUAA organized a postcard campaign to help students connect to their legislators.

“The general consensus coming from a lot of the legislators was that students really don’t care and that this really isn’t important,” said USUAA president Stacey Lucason. “And I just didn’t believe that was true.”

She went to Juneau recently, along with a few other UAA students as part of an advocacy trip and met with state leaders.

USUAA decided to get lawmakers’ attention by flooding them with postcards from UAA students. People could stop by their office in the Student Union and send cards with a pre-written message or write their own.

“I don’t think all the legislators really think about the university as an investment or think about all of the value that it adds to all the citizens in Alaska and so I think we need to do more to reach out,” Lucason said.

At one point cuts to the UA system were upwards of 35 million dollars, but were later reduced by 10 million.

“I think a lot of that is people reaching out and talking to their legislartors and letting them know, ‘This really is important. We need enough money to be functional. Please don’t cut our legs out from under us,” Lucason said.

Shen said that USUAA has sent off around 1,000 postcards. They’re not quite sure what the next step is, but they’re planning to continue lobbying state leaders.

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