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  • Xavier Suggs

Catholic University Student Advocacy

Xavier Suggs

On Feb. 21 students and faculty traveled to the Governor Calvert House in Annapolis, Md. to represent Mount St. Mary’s University for Independent Higher Education Day.

Mount St. Mary’s is a full member of the Maryland Independent College and University Association (MICUA), which is an organization that promotes the interest of private, nonprofit schools within the state.

Independent Higher Education Day is an annual event which recognizes the partnership between these independent schools and the state that they call home. On Independent Higher Education Day, each MICUA school sends representatives to Annapolis to thank local government officials for funding and discuss the future plans between the entities.

This Independent Higher Education Day was especially important, as it was against the backdrop of Governor Wes Moore’s proposed budget for 2025 which would cut funding for the Sellinger formula in half. 

Last year was the Sellinger formula’s 50th anniversary, a fund that supports independent nonprofit schools with direct funding. This funding usually takes the form of financial aid and scholarships for students. This year MICUA schools were provided over $130 million in direct aid, now imagine that being cut in half.

Obviously, this would greatly impact Mount students and their financial aid. Mount St. Mary’s sent President Timothy Trainor, Professors Elizabeth Monahan and Edward Egan, as well as seven student representatives. 

“Students take the lead talking to their representative, their delegate or their senator about what the funding means to them,” Egan said. 

Egan explained the importance of having the face-to-face meeting between the elected officials and the students.“The delegate or senator sees not only a bright young student, but a bright young student who can vote for me, who’s family can vote for me, who’s friends can vote for me.”

Student representative Rachel Hoerner (C’25) described speaking to legislators for the first time. “It was a little bit stressful,” Hoerner expressed. “It was s a little bit higher stakes than I was expecting.”

Despite the stress she felt well prepared and described the event as a valuable experience.

Mount St. Mary’s representatives also asked for the capital funding which would, in turn, help fund the renovations to the Coad Science Building.

The fate of the Sellinger formula is still in the air, but Mount St. Mary’s staff seemed pleased with the work students did during Independent Higher Education Day. “The Mount students always do us proud,” Egan commented.

This was clear as student representatives were treated to ice cream at the conclusion of their Annapolis trip.


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