UNLV Students Walk Out of Classes in Budget Protest - 8 News NOW

UNLV Students Walk Out of Classes in Budget Protest

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LAS VEGAS -- College students around Las Vegas are demanding lawmakers leave higher education alone.

To prove just how serious they are about fighting back, hundreds walked out of class Tuesday and headed to the Grant Sawyer Building, where lawmakers were holding an finance committee meeting, to make sure leaders get the point.

Their persistence paid off, but now the real question is whether it will pay off down the road.

"These budget cuts could pretty much take us down to a community college level, and it's something that we can't tolerate as students," said UNLV sophomore Adam Lester.

SLIDESHOW: UNLV Students Protest Proposed Cuts

While there was cheering and chanting, the walkout served a deeper purpose than just proving a point – UNLV, CSN and Nevada State College are organizing.

They're gathering as many voter registrations as possible to show Governor Jim Gibbons that students also have some power.

"He was saying things need to be cut because they aren't working. He's obviously not working, so he needs to be cut," said student Jenny Buckley.

Students rallied at the Grant Sawyer Building until lawmakers heard them out.

"I think people are fired up. It is very clear that we are not going anywhere and it's very clear that we are serious about what we want," said student Michael Flores.

Nevada Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley and Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, and others, came to thank the students for their passion.

"Do you want to be here in Nevada under these circumstances for the next five to 10 years," said Horsford.

Though they say cutting the budget is a must, leaders say saving education as much as possible is a priority.

"Can there be some level of cuts? Yes. But can it be 30-percent? No," said Buckley.

Lawmakers told students they want to hear more from them and would like to arrange a time to discuss their concerns.

Students say it's comforting to know some lawmakers are behind them, but know it's a battle they might not win.

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