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Milwaukee Students Rally Against Budget Cuts

By Daniel Ginsberg |
September 18, 2009
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Students hold a banner reading "Education is a Right, Students Fight Tuition Hik
Students hold a banner reading "Education is a Right, Students Fight Tuition Hike!" at the rally. (Fight Back! News/Daniel Ginsberg-Jaeckle)

Milwaukee, WI - 100 students came to the Student Speak Out rally Sept. 14, an event created by Milwaukee Students for a Democratic Society to raise awareness of how the economic crisis is affecting students, faculty and staff at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Attendees of the rally demanded a stop to the budget cuts, tuition increases and pay cuts. Like most universities across the country, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) is facing big budget cuts because of the national economic recession. The university underwent a $20 million biannual budget cut beginning this year.

“Our country is in an economic crisis. Students need to fight for higher education, just as workers need to fight for their jobs and benefits and homeowners need to fight to keep their homes,” said Jacob Flom, a UWM student and member of Milwaukee SDS. “The rich should be paying for this economic crisis.”

Speakers at the rally included members of Students for a Democratic Society, financially struggling students and teacher’s assistants, who have been undergoing problems of their own due to the budget cuts.

Meridith Kruse, a union member of the Milwaukee Graduate Assistant Association, said, “The administration uses the economic crisis to make us scared. They say if we don’t take the cuts, they’re gonna lay people off. We say we’re not gonna give anything back, they better find another way to pay.”

Milwaukee SDS, the Milwaukee Graduate Assistant Association, progressive faculty and campus workers have begun discussion about forming a coalition to continue the fight back against the budget cuts at UWM.

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