PHENOM organizes call-in to state representatives

For many UMass Amherst students, a big part of the education goes beyond classrooms and laboratories and reaches into the political arena.

Earlier this month, nearly 100 students took part in a special Lobby Day on Beacon Hill in support of higher education. And on Wednesday, April 21, the Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts (PHENOM) will conduct a call-in to state representatives to lobby for level-funding of the UMass and state and community college systems for the coming year. The phone bank will operate from 10:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom.

The statewide advocacy effort comes as representatives prepare to debate a fiscal 2011 budget proposed by the House Ways and Means Committee that calls for a $132 million cut in funding for public higher education, including an estimated $82.5 million for the five-campus UMass system.

“We’re asking students, faculty and staff to call state representatives and ask them to support an amendment to fund higher education at this year’s levels,” says Emily Bloch, UMass Amherst student trustee.

Cookies will be available to participants in the call-in, she said.

For more information, call Sam Dreyfus at 617-365-3725.