Students from Kentucky’s eight public universities gathered at the state capitol to persuade legislators to spare higher education from budget cuts. Students who attended the rally held signs and chanted the words I am Kentucky’s future.

Speakers included Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear and O.J. Oleka, president of UofL’s Student Government Association, who also chairs Kentucky’s Board of Student Body Presidents.

Before the rally, Oleka and other students visited Senate President David Williams and members of the senate’s education committee to lobby against cuts to higher education.

I was told by a lawmaker that we have the brightest minds at the universities to come up with all of the solutions to issues regarding higher education,” Oleka said. “Well, here’s one. Fund us.

Kentucky’s colleges and universities have suffered nine state budget cuts in the past 10 years, and there is a realistic prospect that the institutions will be hit with more cuts during the upcoming budget cycle.

UofL has encouraged lawmakers this session to restore base funding, fund maintenance and operations, fund a new classroom building and keep the Bucks for Brains program alive.