Students fight for aid

in Albany on earlier this month.
The seven students who represented St.
John’s University met with elected officials of the New York State Senate on Feb. 9 to discuss the potential $71 million cut from the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).

The event was organized by the Commission
on Independent Colleges and Universities

About 800 students from more than 50
different colleges and universities attended the event.

“This was an inspiring experience. I receive
a TAP award and it was truly comforting to
know that all the people we met with were on
our side of the issue,” said Loudres Pena, a
sophomore. “I feel as though our presence gave a face to the issue and our voices reflected that of so many other students that depend on TAP in order to go to college.”

Students voiced their opinions and
concerns about the TAP cut. Toby Stavisky, the Democratic State Senator representing the 16th District, responded in full support of student aid programs.

“I am always proud to bring our students
to Albany to tell their personal stories to our elected officials,” said Brian Browne, assistant vice president for Government Relations.

“Our students are truly the best advocates
we have and are living examples of the value
and importance of investing in student aid

After a day of lobbying, Assemblyman
Rory Lancman, who represents the St. John’s
area as a NYS assembly member, escorted
the St. John’s contingent onto the floor of
the assembly chamber where all seven were
introduced and their efforts acknowledged.

Browne stated that this experience was “the
highlight of the day.”