UT leader speaks at USG meeting

Undergraduate student government did some thinking last night at their weekly meeting in the union.

The topic of most discussion at the meeting was the support for a fairly new campaign titled “Think Ohio.” The campaign is committed to lowering the price tag on higher education by raising awareness of the current costs in the state of Ohio.

Representatives from the University of Toledo’s student body made the trip down to Bowling Green to talk to USG senators about the progress that they have made with the campaign so far.

Tom Crawford, president of the student body at the University of Toledo, called it a “grassroots procedure,” because the campaign will start from the bottom, with high school students. He has printed up 1,500 brochures containing the facts about higher education costs and has sent them to high schools all over Ohio. He hopes the brochures will make students aware of rising tuition before they even enter higher education.

By educating high school students, supporters of the Think Ohio campaign hope the information will make it back to the parents, who are ultimately the voters.

“We finally realized that the only way we are going to change anything in Ohio is with votes,” Crawford said.

He hoped that by showing the Ohio legislatures there are voters who support lowering education costs like tuition the legislatures will take action.

The Think Ohio campaign does not propose a solution to the high cost of education and lack of state funding. Instead, it educates voters and students on the statistics of the present and future of college costs. The campaign is meant to influence votes in such a way that favors lowering the price of education.

Crawford said the Ohio legislature would be nothing if they did not support the Think Ohio cause.

“If you have legislatures who don’t support this, then it is time to get new legislators,” he said.

Crawford and the University of Toledo student body are part of the Intra University Council, which members of USG are also involved in.

Aaron Shumaker, USG president, has also been a supporter of the campaign and said it is something USG should support. Shumaker said he would have more information after visiting Columbus later this month.

Another cause that some USG members rallied for at the meeting was safer pedestrian crossing on Mercer Road.

Sen. Tom Bethany presented a statement to USG last night which recommended a crosswalk for students who cross Mercer Road in order to get to places like the stadium, ice rink and intramural fields. Bethany said these students need a crosswalk of some sort to protect them from traffic.

“That crossing is deadly,” Sen. Anthony Wagener said.

If USG chooses to approve the statement at next week’s meeting, the suggestion will go to Bowling Green City Council for approval and planning. By passing the statement on to city council, senators believe it will show students care enough about the problem to speak up.

“This is our way of showing it is a concern,” Shumaker said.

Next week’s USG meeting is also the deadline for becoming part of USG. Five new members were sworn in last night, but a few openings still remain vacant.