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Students arrive in St. Paul after walk from Mankato
Message to lawmakers
Students walk to St. Paul to make a case for higher education.
By Gordon Severson, KARE-11 News Reporter [broadcast on KARE-TV, Minneapolis, MN, 5/17/2010]
Four students from Minnesota State Mankato arrived to the State Capitol Monday after making a four-day, 95-mile trek on foot.
They did it to send a message to Minnesota lawmakers.
"We're walking to the state capitol for higher education," Mankato State Mankato's student vice president Brett Anderson said.
The four young men said last week that they would walk 95 miles from Centennial Student Union to the State Capitol in just under four days.
"Why not make it a challenge to the governor candidates and legislators. If we do this walk, they come down to Mankato and have an open forum with the students on the status and future of higher education," student president Tom Williams said.
The students said that the state's decrease in higher education aid is hurting not only themselves, but many of the students around them.
"In the last decade the state has given the university and college system 38 percent less. And student debt in that time has doubled, the average debt load is about $25,000," Anderson said.
Anderson and his fellow students began their long trek through Minnesota on Friday, May 14, at noon. Through help from family, friends and complete strangers, they found food and lodging during their journey.
"The first night we were actually planning on camping, but when we stopped for a bite to eat at a bar and grill in Waterville, a lady out of the kindness of her heart took us into her home. They gave us food and a place to sleep that wasn't on the ground," Anderson said.
The group arrived at the Capitol steps moments after the closing of this year's legislative session. Their higher education forum is scheduled for this fall, but a date has not been set until they have confirmation from politicians that they will be attending.
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