February 4, 2011

Jason McGill asks students to let their voices be heard

ASWN President: Fight Against Budget Cuts

Jason McGill President of the Associated Students of Western Nevada shares his perspective about the governor's proposed budget cuts, which includes additional cuts to higher education.

On Saturday, Jan. 29, I attended a town hall meeting at the Washoe County Commission Chambers with a group of students from Western Nevada College, as well as students from other northern Nevada colleges and universities. I realized the meeting was important, but I never considered the impact that we, as students truly have on the actions of the legislature. The room was filled to capacity, so we stood in an overflow area and listened to many stories about how the proposed cuts to education would affect the lives of Nevada students. The budget cuts that Governor Sandoval has proposed affects us all in different ways, many of which are quite drastic. I'd like to take a moment to share my thoughts about the proposed cuts to education.

As children, we were told that we are to be the future leaders of this country. My question is, "How are we supposed to be effective leaders if we cannot afford to receive a quality education?" Increases to tuition and cutting of programs and other resources makes it less and less possible for us to attain the education required to assume this responsibility.

At the same time that the cutting is to occur, our institutions are being pushed to increase graduation rates. If students cannot afford attend, how are our institutions to achieve this goal?

I will spend a third year at a two-year institution partially because of the selective offerings of the classes I need to take. Additional classes and professors cannot be provided because of funds being cut. This issue is happening across all institutions. I have always hoped that things would get better, not worse. If these cuts go into effect, I am afraid that things will indeed get worse.

To my fellow students, I offer this advice: Do not become immediately discouraged. The fact of the matter is that the budget needs to be approved by the state legislature, so now is the time to let your voices be heard. Watch for opportunities to speak during the legislative session, as I will be doing, along with my ASWN colleagues.

ASWN is currently working on a project to enable you to submit your story to us so that we may have a collection of stories to bring forward to legislative officials. Watch for more information to be provided soon regarding this opportunity.

As always, I will do my best to represent and serve the students of WNC, and my door is open if you'd like to contact me. Call 445-4432, e-mail me at mcgilljason27@yahoo.com or visit my office in the Dini Student Center, Rm.105.


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