Advocates for Carolina march on Statehouse
Nearly 250 advocates for the University of South Carolina celebrated Carolina Day at the Statehouse Wednesday (March 24) by marching to the state Capitol and meeting with legislators to discuss the importance of higher education.
The contingent included alumni, faculty, staff and students, as well as representatives from all eight USC campuses, who stressed the message that a college-educated population means less unemployment, higher earnings, a larger tax base and a healthier workforce, among other benefits. The group met with each member of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
In its seventh year, Carolina Day at the Statehouse is part of the Carolina Action Network (CAN), a volunteer advocacy effort organized by the university’s alumni association.
Some CAN participants had attended in previous years, while others, concerned about plummeting funding for higher education, joined in for the first time.
University President Harris Pastides thanked the advocates for their support and said that the decrease in funding from the state has been dramatic in the last two years.
“We now have $100 million dollars less that we had on July 1, 2008,” Pastides said. “Forty-six percent of the university appropriations will have evaporated in only two years.