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Education

Polytechnic students let objections to split be known

News Channel 8
Published:   |   Updated: March 19, 2013 at 03:37 PM

Students at University of South Florida Polytechnic aren't planning to let a proposal to split the school off from USF without letting their objections be heard.

Polytechnic student Jennifer Haven organized a roundtable of nine fellow students at the Lakeland campus today to let decision makers know how difficult things are already.

"Every one of our lives is in limbo right now," said Haven, who travels a couple of times a week to the Tampa campus to take Spanish classes. She said she can't imagine having to commute for all of her classes.

"I work Monday through Friday 8 to 5. I drive to Tampa twice a week right now ... and it is a race."

She is one of more than 2,000 students whose academic life would change dramatically if USF splits from Poly Tech.

State Sen. JD Alexander is spearheading a drive to make Polytechnic the state's 12th university, and the Senate approved the plan this week.

One of students' biggest concerns was how much more students would have to pay.

Patricia Martinez said she pays all her expenses are out of pocket and receives no federal assistance or scholarships.

"I budgeted myself for this campus because the tuition is a lot …cheaper and there's not many fees," she said.

She traveled to Tallahassee with other USF students recently to let them know how they felt about the split, but she feels the trip was a waste of her time.

"The end result was it didn't help, because now it's another waiting period of 'What do we do now?" What's going to happen? What's the game plan?'"

But the students staking part in today's roundtable said they won't give up.

"We will fight until the governor signs the bill," Haven said, "and we hope he will not."

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