Louisiana students are currently facing deep proposed cuts to the state’s higher education budget. Bradley Guin, a student leader from the Louisiana State University Student Government, told us about their efforts to prevent these cuts this spring. Please tell us your name and current position in student government. Please also tell us a little bit about who you are: your year, major, any other background info you’d like to share. My name is Bradley Guin and I serve as the State Capitol Advisor for the LSU Student Government. I essentially serve as the liaison between LSU SG and state leaders and legislators on matters affecting LSU and higher education. I’m currently a senior studying political science, and I will be attending law school next fall. How did you get involved in the LSU Student Government? I first got involved in LSU SG through a program called Freshman Leadership Council. FLC is a program run by LSU Student Government that mentors incoming freshmen, tailors their leadership skills and introduces them to different aspects of LSU SG. In my sophomore year I served as a small group leader for FLC and served on an executive committee, and now I serve as the State Capitol Advisor. Tell us about the proposed budget cuts being considered by the Louisiana legislature. How big would the cuts be, and to what programs? What would the cuts mean for the university if they passed? Louisiana higher education is currently facing an estimated $400 million in cuts on top of the $700 million in cuts already endured by our public colleges and universities since 2008. This would eliminate nearly half of the state funding to LSU and is expected to result in cuts to student services and academic programs, faculty and staff layoffs, loss in research funding, lower graduation rates, and increased tuition and fees. Please describe LSU SG’s campaign to stop these cuts. How will LSU SG convince legislators to oppose the cuts? What strategies and tactics will be used? LSU SG has been actively involved in combating these proposed cuts since they were rumored. We have been regularly meeting with LSU administrators and state legislators on the matter to advocate on behalf of the LSU student body. So far, one-on-one meetings with leaders have been productive, as they enable us to show that these cuts have real impacts on real students. What other groups are involved? Are you working at all with students from other Louisiana schools? LSU SG recently partnered with the LSU Alumni Association to launch a grassroots legislative advocacy network called Tiger Advocates to combat potential budget cuts. Tiger Advocates is an organized group of LSU alumni, students, friends and fans who are committed to communicating LSU’s goals to Louisiana legislators. I’ve also been in touch with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Student Government and we plan to publish a unified letter opposing the cuts alongside other schools. What are the next big steps in this campaign? Our biggest step is garnering momentum as the legislative session approaches. Having a strong, unified presence and voice at the Capitol will go a long way in showing our state leaders that we—as students—care about our higher education and our public universities. We also plan to continue our individual meetings with state leaders, specifically with leadership in the House and Senate.