Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Students Against Jim Nussle press release

From the press office (yeah, right!) of the Drake Democrats:

College Students Launch Campaign Against Student Loan Cuts

(Drake University, Des Moines, IA – Feb. 14th, 2006) – There’s no love loss this Valentine’s Day between students at Drake University and Congressman Jim Nussle over Congress’ recent cuts to the federal student loan program. Students at Drake University will now pay, on average, $1,540 more for 4 years of tuition thanks to the cuts, and are directing their outrage at House Budget Chairman, Jim Nussle.

Nussle, also the front-runner for the Republican nomination for governor of Iowa, led the effort to cut $12.7 billion from higher education, including the largest cut to the federal student loan program in its history. The main change will come in the interest rates on Stafford loans, which will rise from the current 5.3% to 6.8%, causing students to pay thousands more on their loans for college. In response the Drake Democrats are launching their “Students Can’t Afford Jim Nussle” campaign this week to spread awareness about the cuts and hold Jim Nussle accountable for his actions.

Drake Democrats President Patrick Rynard criticized the massive cuts saying, “Jim Nussle is making college less affordable for middle-class families and forcing students to go into even deeper debt. What’s especially reprehensible is that the day after passing those cuts, House Republicans then called for another $60 million in tax cuts, mostly for the rich. This really shows the difference between the Republicans and the Democrats, considering not a single Democrat voted for the student loan cuts.”

The Drake Democrats have started collecting signatures for a petition to send to Jim Nussle, and already gathered nearly a hundred in just one hour. They will also hold a press conference tomorrow to explain more details of the campaign.

Also, students won’t be the only ones facing harder times, as the cuts also raised rates on PLUS loans, loans that parents take out for their children’s tuition. Sophomore Chris Woods is upset because “My parents are going to be paying more than they ever imagined thanks to Jim Nussle's bad budget. All they have ever done, like most parents, is support my efforts to pay for a quality education—but Jim Nussle doesn’t seem to care about that.” Students and parents can figure out exactly how much more they’ll spend by visiting the Drake Democrats’ website, www.drakedems.com."
More to come later. I'll let you know how much, if any, press coverage there is and how the press conference goes. Pictures possible as well, if I can borrow someone's digital camera.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Drake Democrats launch "Students Can't Afford Jim Nussle" campaign

From an advisory sent out by the Drake Democrats:

Drake Democrats Hold Press Conference to Announce "Students Can't Afford Jim Nussle" Campaign
Drake Students Outraged by $12.7 Billion in Higher Education Cuts

Students at Drake University and colleges around Iowa will pay thousands of dollars more on their federal student loans thanks to higher education cuts imposed by Jim Nussle last week in Congress.

The Drake Democrats plan to show that college students are paying attention to Nussle's efforts to make college less affordable, and are launching a "Students Can't Afford Jim Nussle" campaign. The campaign will inform students, parents, and the general public about the cuts, and work to hold Jim Nussle accountable for his actions.

Students will be very active in the next several weeks in this campaign, and the Drake Democrats will announce the specifics of it at a press conference this Tuesday.

WHO: Members of the Drake Democrats

WHEN: Tuesday, February 14th, at 10:00 AM

WHERE: Drake University, Olmsted Center, Pomerantz Stage (2507 University Ave)

CONTACT: For overall statements, Drake Democrats President Patrick Rynard (ptr003@drake.edu). For press details, Drake Democrats Press Secretary Kailyn Heston (kmh034@drake.edu). For further information, visit the Drake Democrats website: www.drakedems.com"
As Legislative Liaison, I'm part of this campaign, and will keep you, my loyal readers, informed of our developments. Stay tuned early tomorrow morning for a press release we'll be putting out coinciding with our press conference at 10 AM. More details should also becoming about the extent of Budget Chairman Jim Nussle's cuts and how they'll impact average students and parents with federal loans. Looking at the FY 2007 budget, things appear even worse.