Team Towson is headed to the state capitol! On Wednesday, Feb. 17, Towson University students, president Kim Schatzel and other university officials will arrive in Annapolis to paint the town black and gold as part of the 17th annual Tiger Pride Day.
The annual event allows members of the Student Government Association leadership groups to meet with key lawmaking committees from the Senate and House to make their concerns known on a state level.
It also gives students and other members of the TU community a chance to network with legislators and their staffers at a luncheon.
Because Towson University is a state school, education and funding bills before the Maryland General Assembly and its committees often have a direct effect on its students. The same is true for funding bills that help Towson build or expand campus facilities.
Each year, the SGA presents lawmakers with its 2016 SGA Legislative Agenda. This year’s agenda will support the following legislative measures, noted SGA president Kurt Anderson:
- Keeping College Tuition Affordable:
For the 2015-16 academic year, the estimated tuition and fees for in-state undergraduate students at Towson University is $9,182; the estimated tuition and fees for out-of-state undergraduate students is $20,748.
The Student Government Association wishes to see Governor Hogan’s administration, the Maryland General Assembly, higher education advocates, officials and the University System of Maryland make a collective effort to create and sustain a more inclusive, innovative, diverse and academically-advanced higher education system while ensuring that a college education in Maryland can be affordable.
- Capital Improvement Projects
Currently, the College of Health Professions is spread across seven buildings on Towson’s campus, despite more than doubling its enrollment in the last 20 years. The proposed building will enable program integration and expansion in areas of critical Maryland workforce need.
Governor Hogan’s FY 2017 budget includes $6,150,000 million for the planning phase of a new science facility, which is an initiative that has been on the Student Government Legislative Agenda in past years. We are thankful that Governor Hogan has included funding for the new science facility in his budget, and we ask that the General Assembly maintains and protects the funds allotted for this capital project.
- Promote and Sustain a USM Graduate Workforce
In order to continue fostering a graduate-friendly economy, we wish to see the state legislature introduce and pass legislation that provides financial incentives for Maryland businesses that hire University System of Maryland graduates within six months after graduation.
- Advance Transgender Rights
In order to tackle the various obstacles transgender students face in Maryland, we ask that Governor Hogan and the Maryland General Assembly consider eliminating the requirement of a letter from a psychotherapist stating the length of time that an individual was in treatment and a summary of their progress.
We also ask Governor Hogan and the Maryland General Assembly to consider streamlining the Social Security Administration and Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration name and gender change process.
- Secure the Operating Budget
The Student Government Association encourages Governor Hogan and the Maryland General Assembly to secure the $110.2 million general fund operating budget for Towson University in order for the university to retain its successful and efficient operation