Students' power to sway budget questioned

March 22, 2011 at 12:30 PM
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CARSON CITY, Nev., March 22 (UPI) -- It remains to be seen whether a rally by Nevada college students against education cuts will influence lawmakers carving a final budget, a state historian said.

Guy Rocha, who agrees with the hundreds of students who turned out, said staging one of the largest demonstrations in Carson City's memory may not register with lawmakers, the Las Vegas Sun reported Tuesday.

"You have to have [the] ability to affect these people's political lives or they will ignore you," Rocha said. "They will pay you lip service and ignore you."

Rocha compared the student demonstration to a barking dog.

He said barking is good at getting some attention in the short term but it's the dog's ability to bite that gets a response.

Erin Neff of Progress Now Nevada that helped organize Monday's rally said the liberal group has never tried a mass mobilization of students in the state before.

But lobbyists said it's naive to think citizens will affect the outcome, especially young people who tend not to vote in elections.

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