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SOU Students Host Public Safety Forum

ASHLAND, Ore. – Southern Oregon University students are asking lawmakers to reinvest in higher education, to prevent more young people from ending up behind bars.

The SOU student government hosted a special event Wednesday night to discuss the funding levels for public safety and colleges. Medford Schools Superintendent Phil Long and former Jackson County District Attorney Mark Huddleston were among the featured speakers at the event, where they spoke to students and community members about the impact of increased funding for prisons while funding levels for higher education have decreased.

Student Body President Josh Danielson said because the funding levels have shifted, more young people are ending up in prisons instead of reaching higher education.

“If we start putting more money into higher education, then a lot of people who can’t afford to go to school can go to school instead of us paying for them to be in prison,” Danielson said.

The student government is planning a pair of demonstrations in April to ask lawmakers to increase funding for state universities.