By Brian Block
In the very first edition of The Signal this year, I pledged to each and every one of you that I would work tirelessly to advocate for increased state funding for higher education. I also pledged to you that I would refuse to do it alone. I am keeping both of my promises. The “Tell It Like It Is” campaign, a new tool devised by the Legal & Governmental Affairs Committee of your Student Government, focuses on you, the student. It requires the collection of stories of hardship, struggle and frustration from students who have had these experiences.
My committee members and I could go into meetings with legislators, with the speaker of the assembly, and with the chairman of the senate budget committee and throw numbers at them, but that will not work any more than it works in a classroom. What we will do is go in armed to the teeth with the real stories of students who couldn’t enroll in core classes, who were doubled and tripled up in their JPE, who had TAG and EOF scholarships cut and who could not get a dorm room fixed in a reasonable amount of time. We will do this because stories stick and stories get retold. We will do this because we need elected officials to understand the pain that so many of you are experiencing.
Therefore, my committee and I ask of you this: Help us help you! No story is too trivial and no story is too complex. There are three ways to submit your stories to your Student Government: The first is to visit tcnjsg.org and select the campaign’s page under the “Resources” tab. The second is to send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. The third is to come and testify in person at our committee meetings which occur every Tuesday at 8 p.m. in Social Science Building 241. All names are kept strictly confidential.
In the next week, you will see banners, fliers and literature around campus advertising this campaign. We pledge an all-out effort because it is our job to represent you and defend higher education.
Now we need you to do your part. On behalf of my committee and every single public institution of higher education in the Garden State duplicating this model, we look forward to hearing from you. Tell it like it is!