Campus Funeral Protests Governor’s Budget

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Students at a state university in Clinton County carried a casket through campus Wednesday.

The funeral march was a protest against the governor's proposed budget cuts targeting education.

Students at Lock Haven University are back at it for the second year in a row, protesting Governor Tom Corbett's proposed cuts to state universities.

To drive their point home, the students held a funeral march for education complete with a casket and pallbearers.

The funeral procession through the campus of Lock Haven University was not for any one person, but for the thousands of current and future students who claim Governor Corbett's proposed budget cuts would kill their chances at an education.

Along the way, the students made it clear they are against a proposed 20 percent cut that could lead to millions less in state funding just one year after undergoing similar state budget cuts.

"It's hurting, it's hurting not just the school themselves but the students in terms of increased tuition and lack of classes," said Dr. Matthew Girton who teaches at the university.

The procession wound on Russell Lawn, gravestones spelled out what the students fear could happen to education if the Governor gets his way.

"I care about the students who will no longer be able to afford an education at a state institute in place to serve students who wouldn't normally be able to attend college," said student James Vesey.

The issue of funding state higher education hits home for sophomore Courtney Fisher who teared up as the mock funeral played out.

"I have a two year old son, and a lot is banking on being able to afford my education," said Fisher.

Fisher said if the Governor's proposed cuts become reality, it might take her and other students longer to graduate not to mention at a higher cost.

"I would have to probably have to stay here another year or two. Take out more loans, I've already maxed out my loans," added Fisher.

"I want to be able to make a difference, with Corbett's budget cuts making it hard enough to want to get an education," said freshman Lauren Grannetino.

During last year's budget battle, Lock Haven students went to Harrisburg by the hundreds to protest.

They are planning to take their fight to the state capital again next month.