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Senate to host state representatives

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Ohio University’s student senate discussed plans Wednesday to work with representatives and leaders from around the state to make higher education more affordable.

Andrew Meyer, a member of Young Invincibles, a youth advocacy group based in Washington D.C., has organized an event called “Making Cents: The Financials of Higher Education.” Set for Nov. 9, the program is designed to help students listen to experts in the field and then voice their own ideas and concerns. The event will bring college students from all over Southeast Ohio, including OU’s regional campuses, to Athens, in order to foster discussions on how to best move forward with making college more affordable.

Meyer, a senior studying psychology at OU, has been part of Young Invincibles since last year when the group came to Ohio University and wanted to make a presentation on student loans. He helped out the organization with the presentation and continued to do research for them over the year. Along with others from inside and outside of Young Invincibles, Meyer thought up this program as a way to figure out where to go for the future.

On the event itinerary, David Cannon, Vice-Chancellor for the Ohio Board of Regents, is set to make a presentation on what exactly the Board of Regents does. State Rep. Debbie Phillips, who represents Athens at the statehouse, will also make a presentation about how students can get involved with working out a state budget. After each of these presentations, there will be a question and answer section. Rounding out the day will be a discussion between all those in attendance.

Meyer said that at the end, he hopes that everyone will discuss the best ways and practices to move forward with an affordable tuition model, asking questions like, “What do we do with this information… we understand what universities deal with on a budget level, so what do we do with that? Where do we go from here?”

Jordan Ballinger, the Government Affairs Commissioner on Senate, has also coordinated talks with two state representatives. On Nov. 15, Phillips will make another appearance on campus along with State Sen. Lou Gentile to talk about things they are working on.

Phillips and Gentile will have a short meet and greet with the student senators and then will be accompanying them to dinner. Following dinner, Phillips and Gentile will come back to make presentations on what they are currently working on. Among the topics that will be covered, a big one is education.

“It will be a good time to meet both of our elected representatives for the state of Ohio,” Ballinger said.

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