The Associated Students of Boise State University (ASBSU) has been entertaining the idea of hiring a lobbyist to help in efforts to gain more equal funding from the state.
In September, a Red Sky Public Relations work proposal stated, “an inequitable application of (the weighted-credit) model results in Boise State University receiving only 65 percent, or two-thirds of the amount of state funding per student.”
The amount of funding Boise State gets from the state directly affects students in many ways.
The most prominent being tuition rates—more state funding could mean lower tuition, while less state funding could mean higher tuition.
A lobbyist could be useful to ASBSU, as the legislature is more likely to take a professional seriously, or listen more carefully than they would to a student.
In 2011, The Arbiter explored this issue and stated the inequal funding between universities is not a mystery to the legislature and affects more schools than just Boise State.
Nothing is set in stone yet and it’s likely it will take a while before anything is, but even the idea of hiring a lobbyist is kind of a big deal.
Going through ASBSU rather than the university itself may seem strange, but when you think about it, it actually makes sense.
“It’s students that are directly affected by the funding inequity. It means more coming from students,” ASBSU President Ryan
Britt Pendleton, a senior biology major, thinks a lobbyist for the school could be good. “As a whole, I’m kind of against lobbying because I think it’s under regulated but I think for BSU it would be good to help fund maintaining and updating buildings.” Pendleton said.
As a disabled student, Pendleton relies on the consistent upkeep of the elevators in school buildings and while she doesn’t believe the maintenance of the buildings is horrible, an increased budget for maintenance couldn’t hurt.
It’s possible students from ASBSU could champion our cause to the legislature, but there is a very real fear the legislators may not be as honest or listen as carefully to students as they would to a lobbyist.
That’s where the lobbyist comes in handy. Mentioned before, the state legislature is probably more likely to listen carefully to a professional than they would a student.
Whether or not legislators have the intention of being biased in that way, it could happen.
If there was a lobbyist fighting for Boise State in the state legislature, someone who could really argue and convince with the best of them, there’s a better chance the school will get more equal funding.