This archived article was written by: Gypsie Delgado
More than 200 students from eight of Utah public colleges and universities rallied last Friday at the Utah State Capitol Building to push for a wage hike for professors and staff.
Friday’s gathering was the culmination of a weeklong relay by teams of student runners representing Utah colleges and universities – beginning at both the Idaho and Arizona state lines – jogging across the state to demonstrate their concern about stagnant wages at the Utah colleges and universities.
Jed Lloyd, ASCEU leadership president, organized CEU’s representation which had faculty, staff and students run from the campus to the entrance of Price Canyon on U.S. 6. ASCEU leadership paid for the Eagle bus to transport CEU students to the capitol in support of higher education employees by the legislature.
“I thought the rally was great. The morning of the rally I had breakfast with our legislators and they were very pleased. They have always been supportive of the college.
” I think for other legislators in the state it was a nice reminder for them of the students perspective. The rally really is good evidence that students, faculty and staff are pretty much on the same page,” said President Ryan Thomas.
According to an article in Saturday’s Salt Lake Tribune, the students, organized under the banner of Utah Student Association, arrived at the Capitol with a letter. The missive urged legislators to recognize the students’ “united effort to retain excellent professional educators by appropriating money to faculty and staff of higher education.” It was read Friday afternoon in the Senate and House of Representatives.
Following the rally, students said they were encouraged by Gov. Olene Walker’s comments that she considers higher education a priority. However, the governor continues to point out that Utah is not yet out of the financial woods, reported the article in the Tribune.
Both the governor and members of the Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee agree that after two years without a wage increase, faculty and staff are due a pay hike.
Walker has proposed a two percent pay increase for higher education. The state Board of Regents has requested a three percent bump, and some higher education officials have called for a four percent increase, the Tribune story reported.