The potential cutting of the Michigan Promise Scholarship from the state’s budget has caused quite a stir within local college communities.
In response, Eastern Michigan University’s Black Student Union organization is collaborating with the University of Michigan’s chapter of BSU, as well as Michigan’s chapter of the NAACP, in hopes of raising awareness about the issue.
Darlene Conley, the public relations director for EMU’s BSU chapter, deemed it necessary for her organization to address the problem. “We just don’t believe it should be cut,” she said. “This is the Promise Scholarship, it was promised to us.”
The collaboration between the two college’s BSU chapters is nothing new. “We’ve worked together before in the past,” Conley said. “We’re right down the street from each other and we plan to tackle more issues together.”
The organization believes the possible cuts may have deeper effects than what some may think.
“These cuts would not only affect college students but families as well,” Conley said. “Students may have to drop out because they can no longer afford to go to school. Many students and parents are unable to take out loans due to bad credit and a number of other reasons. If we lose this scholarship, that’s a loss of over $18.8 million for students.”
BSU is hoping to get students from all over the state involved.
“We’re hoping students will send letters to their respective representatives,” Conley said. “We’re also asking students to write personal letters explaining how it will affect them. At Michigan State, they had a petition with over 4,000 signatures. There are also potential trips that may be made to Lansing.”
The organization has reached out to various state representatives but, as of press time, no response had been received.
Conley believes that even those not directly affected should want to take the initiative to be involved.
“Not only are they planning on cutting scholarships for college students but funding for K-12 as well,” she said. “You may not be affected by this particular cut but the economy as a whole is doing bad. So, soon you may be affected by something.”
Those who want to get involved may attend a BSU meeting. The organization meets every Sunday in the Student Center from 7-9 p.m.