UConn Students Rally as School Faces $120 Million in Budget Cuts

As massive cuts loom over the University of Connecticut (UConn), students rallied at two locations to say they're not letting it happen without a fight.

UConn Health in Farmington faces more than $120 million in cuts over the next two years under the Republican budget that passed last Saturday. About 100 students rallied outside the academic entrance there Wednesday afternoon.

"The cuts are drastic and could potentially take away entire departments here at the school of medicine," a UConn medical student Adam Bartholomeo said. 

Hundreds also rallied at the main campus in Storrs. The university would see a more than $180 million slash in state funding over two years. For the UConn system, that totals more than $300 million.

UConn said it would mean closing regional campuses, chopping financial aid, and possibly cutting division one athletics. Students said they might not be able to afford to go to what's currently touted as an affordable state college.

"I think it'll be harder for me to keep going. I assume I can keep paying for it, but I'm really- my strategy at this point is to keep taking loans," UConn student Amythest Hamby said.

"These budget cuts send the message that yes, we might be students today but we might not be Huskies tomorrow," UConn student Sebastien Kerr said.

Republicans defend the move. They said on Tuesday that social services and municipalities need the money and that UConn can get cash through the federal government, grants and increasing tuition.

"UConn has got a huge foundation and has many ways of raising money where other people don't have those resources," said GOP President Pro Tem Senator Len Fasano.

UConn said while they expect to make sacrifices in this budget like everyone else, that this is too far.

"Everyone knows funding UConn costs a lot of money. That is an indisputable fact but trying to cut our funding will cost Connecticut a lot more in the long run," Kerr said.

Students said another rally is planned Friday in Hartford and they hope to confront lawmakers about the cuts.

Regarding the Republican budget, the governor has criticized the cuts to UConn and has said he'll veto the budget.

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