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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Walk to the Capitol

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4 Days, 95 Miles, 1 Mission - The Reporter

students walking to state capital along trail

Minnesota State University students hike along the Sakatah-Singing Hills Trails on their way to the Capitol in St. Paul Monday through Thursday, May 9-12, 2011, to draw attention to the importance of higher education funding. After making the 95-mile trek the eight students, including current and former student leaders from the Minnesota State Student Association, will meet with key legislators. They expect to arrive at noon Thursday.

The task of walking from Mankato to St. Paul in a few days would be a true challenge for anyone. At Minnesota State University, Mankato this morning, a send off celebration took place for a group of students who began the 95–mile walk.

They have an important reason for why they're pounding the pavement.

Higher education funding in Minnesota is currently facing the possibility of cuts in the current legislative session.

This group of Minnesota State University, Mankato students decided to walk, yes walk, the entire 95 miles to the Minnesota Capital in St. Paul to show how important higher education funding is to the state.

Richard Davenport, MSU President, says, "The students whole purpose for the walk is to send a strong message to the governor and to the legislator about the importance of higher education – that higher education is a big engine for this institution for economic recovery."

Last year, MSU students saw their tuition increase by 3 percent.

A 5 percent tuition increase is being proposed for the upcoming year, but the school needs to see how higher education funding ultimately comes through for the state's budget.

Mary Dowd, MSU Interim Dean of Students, says, "For them to take these, literally, steps to the capital to show how important an education is for them and for the state of Minnesota is certainly a testament to our student leaders and to the institution."

The students left Mankato this morning and will arrive in St. Paul on Thursday.

Once at the capital, the group will meet with Governor Mark Dayton and several legislators.

With a state budget due by May 23rd, their walk for higher education comes at an important time.

Paving the Path for Progress students

Paving the Path for Progress students talking

Comments from Paving the Path for Progress students

Comments from Paving the Path for Progress students

Paving the Path for Progress students walking through CSU

Paving the Path for Progress students beginning the walk

Paving the Path for Progress MSU truck