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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Students Must Lobby to Improve State Based Financial Assistance

    With Apr. 1 as the deadline for the approval of an amended version of the executive and senate state budget, students still have a lot of time to try and make a difference. As students, we have the opportunity and the responsibility to be actively involved with the issues that affect us.

    An additional $148 million dollars being spread across the SUNY educational system is a lot of money. And we will likely see the benefits of the higher education budget increase, if it is passed, in the smoothness of daily operations at Stony Brook University. However, the state budget can still be amended to benefit students even more.

    If we want to see our tuition costs remain steady, or if we want to see a more practical financial aid system that accounts for real-life financial emergencies, we should be the ones fighting for it.

    We could all easily complain to our friends and professors about what we perceive as the injustices of the state higher education system. Complaint, however, doesn’t engender change.

    Students inspired to get involved in the budget process have the Stony Brook chapter of NYPIRG at their disposal. Found in the basement of the Student Union, NYPIRG gives students the opportunity to participate in letter-writing drives, lobbying events and outreaches to the local media and to our state representatives.

    As SUNY Stony Brook Day at Albany quickly approaches, students should be inspired to make the trip and lobby with NYPIRG for favorable changes to the state budget. This is the chance for students to extend their hands into the politics that directly changes their educational experience.

    Students also have the opportunity, through NYPIRG, to speak with State Senator John Flanagan and State Assemblyman Steven Englebright about ways to improve state based financial aid, and thus help our state representatives renew their own efforts to effectively represent us on the issues that matter most.

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