UH Students protest budget cuts - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

UH Students protest budget cuts

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Mark Ing Mark Ing
Senator Norman Sakamoto Senator Norman Sakamoto

By Brooks Baehr - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - About two dozen University of Hawaii students who object to budget cuts at the university protested in front of the state capitol in Honolulu Tuesday afternoon.

They are upset lawmakers and the governor are restricting a combined $198-million in funding for the university in fiscal years 2010 and 2011.

They told Hawaii News Now the budget cuts can already be felt.

"What the budget cuts are doing ... they're cutting down on classes and they're increasing class size. When you increase class size and you have less classes the quality of your education is going to go down," said Travis Fallon, a UH Senior working toward a degree in political science.

"We normally have 25 students in this (political science) class and it's set up for oral presentations. We had 45 people this semester which made oral presentations impossible,' said Sarah Teehee, a UH Senior with a double major in political science and women's studies.

The students are asking lawmakers to restore at least $50-million of the $198-million when the legislature convenes in January.

Senator Norman Sakamoto, Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Higher Education, came down from his office to talk to the students.

He agrees that the cuts will hurt the university, but says money is so tight he cannot make any promises on restoring funds.

The UH administration and faculty have also expressed concern about the negative effect the cuts will have on the quality of education offered at UH

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