NISG responds to proposed budget cut



Editor’s note: the following letter was submitted by representatives from Northern Iowan Student Government (NISG).

This afternoon, Northern Iowan Student Government was dismayed to discover that S.F. 3089, legislation introduce by Appropriations Chairperson Schneider, proposes a $3.748 million de-appropriation to the University of Northern Iowa for 2018. If the bill becomes law, UNI will be required to give $3.748 million back to the state coffers. This is in addition to the $2.5 million UNI returned to the State of Iowa last spring.  This reversion of funds equals $6.2 million.

Every week, Northern Iowa Student Government’s Director of Governmental Relations and the Legislative Liaison Team visits the Capitol and talks with Senate and House leadership about UNI’s unique needs and educational prowess. During these talks and through comments made in committee, student leaders were assured by legislators that UNI would be held harmless in this de-appropriations bill.

As administrators stated earlier this year, UNI cannot continue to sustain these detrimental blows to our bare-bones budget while continuing to maintain the quality of the institution that students, faculty, staff and administrators provide. It is imperative that lawmakers understand that these sustained cuts to the institution have ramifications on both the quality and quantity of educational opportunities offered to the next generation of Iowa’s workforce. Iowa has long held a tradition of educational excellence that these proposed cuts will undermine.

NISG will keep students updated as the bill progresses through the legislative process. Until then, we encourage everyone to contact their hometown legislators and tell them that this cut to UNI is unacceptable and unsustainable. NISG will continue to make frequent trips to the Capitol to discuss UNI’s needs and the effect this legislation will have on the Iowa economy, UNI and our students, faculty and staff.

NISG will always be here to advocate in the best interest of students.

— Tristan Bernhard, Vice President, Co-Director of Legislative Liaison Team
— Maggie Miller, Director of Governmental Relations