Tampa, Florida - USF's campus is lined with banners, boosting school spirit. One banner says "Create your future."
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Now students are trying to save their future and the university's. A Senate proposal would cut $128 million -- that's almost 60 percent of USF's budget.
"It's devastating, emotional. It brings you to tears, it can destroy an institution," says Matt Diaz, USF's Student Body President.
The proposed cuts are potentially devastating to high school seniors like Diana Correa. The Jefferson High student has been accepted to USF. Correa, 18, says it "makes me scared, I have to apply somewhere else."
USF's uncertain future makes Correa not sure about the school she hoped to call her Alma mater one day. Correa says, "I could lose a class and not graduate. What if my major is taken away? I have to choose another school and USF is the only one I applied to."
Guidance counselor Velda Santiago says, "That's big politics at its best." Santiago estimates between 250 and 300 of Jefferson students are attending or planning to attend USF. Her advice to them has changed.
"They will have to apply to two other universities," says Santiago.
Correa hopes legislators reconsider. "I'm sure they can find money from somewhere else, not us students."
USF's student body president and two dozen other students are traveling to Tallahassee Wednesday morning with this message for state leaders:
Diaz says, "Legislators forget they work for us, they represent us. It's not us who has to answer to legislators, it's legislators who answer to us."
USF's student government is meeting Tuesday night. They have started a letter writing campaign and will be delivering those letters to legislators tomorrow.
Previous USF Poly Coverage:
2/14/12 - USF fears "devastating" 58% budget cuts
2/14/12 - 10 News leading campaign to #SaveUSF
2/8/12 - JD Alexander pushes "backdoor" path for USF Poly independence
12/22/11 - Barbs traded over Genshaft's handling of USF Poly handling
12/20/11 - Genshaft dismisses USF Poly chancellor
11/10/11 - BOG grants USF Poly conditional independence
11/7/11 - USF Poly spends thousands on Star Wars statues
11/3/11 - JD Alexander's bully pulpit
10/31/11 - Polk leaders vote for USF Poly independence