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Student Leaders to Walk '142 Kilometers for $142 million'
Students to advocate for MnSCU's $142 million legislative request.
Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 5-7-2015
Mankato, Minn. – Members of the Minnesota State Student Association, the student government for Minnesota State University, Mankato, are walking from Mankato to the state Capitol in St. Paul to advocate for a $142 million appropriation.
Approximately 10 students plan to depart at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 10 from in front of Minnesota State Mankato’s Centennial Student Union and arrive at the Capitol in St. Paul at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, May 13. (NOTE: Media members are invited to visit with the students and take photos during any portion of the journey.)
According to the Minnesota State Student Association, the students are engaging in the walk and the lobbying effort in an effort to call attention to the importance of keeping college tuition affordable for all students, while covering the cost of inflation. Tuition at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities institutions has been frozen since 2012, and a $142 million appropriation from the state legislature would extend the tuition freeze an additional two years.
The students will be walking about nine hours on each of the first three days and six hours on the final day. On Sunday, they will travel from Mankato to Waterville, Minn., where they will stay with a local homeowner. On Monday, the itinerary calls for the students to walk to Northfield, Minn., where lodging is still to be determined. On Tuesday, the students will walk to Eagan, Minn., and stay overnight at a local hotel.
When they arrive at the state Capitol on Wednesday, the students plan to speak to legislators and ask them to vote for the $142 million appropriation.
The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system has requested the $142 million from the state legislature during the current legislative session, and as highlighted in a March 17 Minnesota State web post, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton recommended that MnSCU receive the full $142 million in this biennium.
According to MnSCU, if fully funded, the $142 million appropriation would protect programs on MnSCU campuses, allowing system institutions to serve students and meet the future workforce needs of Minnesota. The appropriation would also protect MnSCU institutions’ ability to deliver its programs and protect affordability to ensure access for all Minnesotans.
The students will be posting photos and highlights of their journey on the Minnesota State Student Association Facebook page, and plan to tweet about their travels using #142kfor$142million.
For more information or to arrange for media interviews, please contact Joe Wolf, one of the students participating in the walk to St. Paul, by phone at 612-607-2987 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is the fourth time Minnesota State Mankato student leaders are walking to St. Paul in an effort to draw attention to legislative funding for higher education. The previous walks occurred in 2010, 2011 and 2013.
Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,376 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.