Slideshow: Students Remove Shoes To Fight Higher Education Cuts

Ann McClure's picture
Wednesday, February 8, 2012

300 college students bared it all below the ankle on Tuesday to prove a point -- cuts to higher education play right into a stereotype.  

The fresh faces of the next generation quickly learned the soles of their feet as they hit the cold concrete and then chilly Capitol marble floors can speak right to the ears of politicians. "If they're going to keep cutting higher education, we're going to fulfill our own stereotypes and we're going to end up being the barefoot state everyone makes fun of," says U of L student Olivia McMillen.

This year, Governor Steve Beshear proposed drastic spending cuts. For the 12th year in a row, higher education is taking a hit of 6.4%. It was enough for hundreds of students from the state's eight universities to put their foot down Tuesday afternoon at the capitol. "Every time there is a cut there is a direct correlation to tuition hikes," says U of L Student Body President Kurtis Frizzell. "There's going to be higher tuition, there's going to be increased fees and that's what we need to prevent."

UK Student Body President Micah Fielden says students who stay face a tough financial burden. "Students are leaving with so much debt that really it's a smarter decision to not go to college at all."

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