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March 27, 2012

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EOP/EOC students join with UUP advocates


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More than 200 students from SUNY’s Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) and Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) wave their UUP signs as they prepared to meet with state lawmakers during EOP/EOC Advocacy Day in Albany on Mar. 27.

The visits took place as state lawmakers were putting the finishing touches on the 2012-13 state budget. UUP President Phil Smith asked the students and several dozen UUP advocates to thank legislators for protecting both EOP and EOC funding in the budget. But Smith also said he’d like to improve on that in the future.

“We hope that as the state’s fiscal situation improves, additional funding will become available for these critical programs,” he said.

Accompanied by their EOP/EOC counselors and other UUP members, the students visited the offices of 103 state lawmakers.

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Sen. Joseph Robach (R-Greece) was among them, shaking hands with UUPer Gabe Iturbides of Geneseo after their meeting that included six Geneseo EOP students.

In each meeting, the students related their heartfelt accounts of how EOP and EOC have made a major difference in their lives. They also lamented the fact that 17,000 eligible students were turned away last year from EOP because the funds weren’t there to accommodate them.

The EOP provides academic support and financial aid to eligible low-income students who want to attend college. EOCs help prepare students for college or vocational training programs.


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