Students all over campus are preparing themselves for the upcoming Higher Education Day, a public event held in Montgomery. The purpose of Higher Ed Day, Feb. 27, 2014, as explained by SGA President Caleb Walters in an email interview, is to ensure that colleges like the University of West Alabama receive a fair amount of funding. Unfortunately, tuition increases are inevitable. But, the goal of the day is to prevent budget cuts that may result in any other fee increases. As Walters describes, “The Higher Education Partnership’s rationale is that 2/3 of the budget should go to K-12 schools, and the remaining third should go to universities. That amount does fluctuate, but we try to make sure it stays close to those amounts”.
Higher Education Day benefits the University of West Alabama in multiple ways. Since our school is a member of the Alabama Higher Education Partnership, we benefit from having people involved, including students, faculty, and administrators, doing what they can to ensure that receiving a college educations is as affordable and obtainable as it possibly can be. Walters describes it as “the epitome of those supporters coming together in a huge showing in support of no only their institutions, but higher education as a whole for the state of Alabama”. Perhaps the greatest benefit that comes from Higher Ed Day is the knowledge that our voices about education funding have been heard, and the hope that the politicians will keep our voices in mind as they decide on the education budget.
A lot of preparation is involved when it comes to Higher Ed Day, particularly during the spring semester. Members of the SGA have had their hands full while making signs for University of West Alabama participants to carry in the parade, scheduling breakfast for those planning to attend Higher Ed Day, getting buses for students and band members, and ordering 300 t-shirts for attendees to wear. Walters, along with STARS Coordinator Jerria Prince, have held several meetings with representatives from the Partnership to discuss their plans for Higher Ed Day.
Higher Ed Day also boosts morale for UWA students. The University of West Alabama typically has the highest participation percentage of any other school that attend Higher Ed Day. UWA has also won the annual t-shirt competition for the past few years. It’s also a very enjoyable event, as Walters states, “There is a parade through the city of Montgomery to the capitol building, where there is a rally on the state house steps. It’s really fun and exciting, but there is a great message behind the festivities”.

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