UConn students, Sen. Flexer rally in hopes to save UConn from possible budget cuts

STORRS --  UConn’s Undergraduate Student Government and Graduate Student Senate gathered Wednesday for a "Save UConn" rally opposing proposed cuts made by the Republican budget plan.

Students and teachers rushed into the Hugh S. Greer Field House shortly before 6:30 p.m.

“We have a voice. It’s our education,” said Elia Galdamez, a senior at UConn.

UConn says the Republican budget cuts $308,827,301 from UConn over the next two years, likely resulting in higher tuition, fewer class offerings, and an overall inability to maintain the high-quality education that made UConn the 18th best public university in the United States.

Republicans claim the total number that would be cut is around $240 million.

The cut would impact student financial aid, eliminate Division 1  sports, close down UConn Health and its regional campuses and class sizes would grow.

“We can’t afford to be cut anymore,” said Irma Valverde, Student Body President.

“UConn is like home for everybody in Connecticut. We have so much pride,” added Galdamez.

In a press conference Tuesday, UConn’s president, Susan Herbst called this a “historic moment for the state.” The university is ranked as one of the top 20 schools in the country and worries its ranking will sink if the cuts are signed off on by the Governor.

For out-of-state students like Tatianna Montalvo, she said whatever the amount will be, the pain will still be felt.

“It’s like showing us they’re not really looking at the students and how it’s going to affect us and the people who are going to try and come here as well,” said Montalvo, a senior at UConn.

Signs were waved in the air during the rally that read “Invest In Our Future.” Valverde added while she is a senior, it will be tough for her to know her soon-to-be Alma mater will see a drop in its ranking.

UConn is currently ranked number 18 for a public research university but Herbst said that number will go down and it will become unattractive for students and parents.

“I really really am scared for those students who are freshman and sophomores so they might have to turn their backs on UConn because it won’t be affordable anymore,” added Valverde.

Governor Dannel Malloy has signed his intention to veto the Republican plan which passed the House and Senate last week in a surprising series of votes.

There is a hashtag that is trending on Twitter where students and teachers have expressed their frustrations. It is #SaveUConn.