USG debates Issue 3, will vote on a stance next week

The Ohio “Learn and Earn Amendment” could provide the only increase in higher education funding by the state this year, if Issue 3 is approved by voters Nov. 7.

At last night’s Undergraduate Student Government meeting, two resolutions were proposed addressing the “Learn and Earn Amendment.” Next week, USG senators will vote to accept one of the resolutions, which will become USG’s official stance on the issue.

The first resolution, presented by Mike Woodall, at-large senator, proposed for USG to take an official stance – as the voice of BGSU undergraduate students -against the Ohio “Learn and Earn Amendment.”

“Issue 3 is not the appropriate way to support higher education funding,” Woodall said.

The resolution states the “Learn and Earn Amendment” is misleading to voters.

Woodall said commercials present false promises to Ohioans.

“There’s no real guarantee toward how much scholarships are going to be, when they’re going to be paid out and who they’re going to be paid to,” he said.

The resolution also holds that Issue 3 would make Ohio a Class III gambling state, create 109,000 gambling addicts and provide a tax-free monopoly to the establishment.

“I don’t feel that the Ohio constitution is a place to provide a tax shelter for casinos,” Woodall said.

Jason Snead, at-large senator, said he is for higher education funding, but is opposed to the “Learn and Earn Amendment.”

“It saddens me that the state of Ohio has reduced itself to make gambling the only form of higher education funding,” he said.

Woodall said the Amendment would hurt Ohio as a whole.

Citing the results of a study conducted by Cleveland State University, Woodall said for every $1 spent on gambling, $3 are spent in social costs.

Tony Wagener, senator for the College of Arts and Sciences, proposed a resolution for USG to support the Ohio Amendment.

Wagener said this is the only option for higher education funding at the time, and students should take advantage of it.

“If the opposition could show me a plan, I’d gladly get rid of this,” he said.

But Wagener said supporting the Amendment would make a statement to Ohio politicians.

“We as college students are desperate for help,” he said. “We need to send a message to Columbus that we’re sick of being walked on and that someone is giving us a ray of hope and we’re going to take advantage of it,” he said.

Nate Wiedenhoft, at-large senator and sponsor of the resolution, said this Amendment won’t increase higher education funding enough, but it will at least provide some funding.

“It’s an attempt to help the problem, it’s not an attempt to solve the problem,” he said.

Snead encourages students to talk to their resident, college, or at-large senators before next week when USG will vote on their official stance on the issue.