A Colorado State University-Pueblo student plans to celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday at a higher education conference in Illinois.
President of CSU-Pueblo’s Associated Student Government, Steve Titus, said he plans on attending the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission in Champaign, Ill., Oct. 23-25.
“It’s a celebration of Lincoln’s 200th birthday,” Titus said. “This will be the one and only time it happens.”
The conference is one of several national events, and is expected to explore the details of the Moral Act that was passed by Congress in 2000, he said. The act establishes land grant institutions like Colorado State University-Fort Collins.
Discussions on how Lincoln impacted higher education while in office and how higher education has evolved are anticipated, Titus said. Additional deliberations are expected to include how post-secondary schools have dealt with federal funding and how they intend to move forward.
The Lincoln Bicentennial Commission will also address how higher education institutions intend to incorporate low costs and high quality in future funding, Titus said.
As well as attending the event, Titus said he plans to speak on the panel for student leaders. He said he intends to address costs and funding for post-secondary schools in Colorado.
“Higher education should be a right, not a privilege,” Titus said.“The country needs to focus on providing higher education at a very low cost, if at no cost.”
Titus said he plans to speak about the issue of higher education being viewed only as a luxury for individuals who can afford it. He said he believes education should be a type of add-on to K-12 education.
Currently tertiary education is devalued, Titus said. It is especially true for Colorado, he said, since Colorado puts so much money toward K-12 funding, it is unable to focus on funding higher education.
He referred to the situation as the Colorado Paradigm and said he believes this model will increase tuition and may drive students to attend higher education institutions out of state.
No other students from CSU-Pueblo or Colorado are planning to attend the Lincoln Bicentennial Commission that Titus is aware of, he said, and he plans on representing CSU-Pueblo as well as representing the Colorado State University System.
A representative from the Lincoln Bicentennial Commission contacted the CSU System Office for the board of governors in Denver, Titus said. They informed the board that “they were interested in inviting me,” he said. Currently, Titus is also a member of the board of governors as a CSU-Pueblo student representative.
Titus said he plans on making a presentation regarding the Lincoln Bicentennial Commission at an associate student governement meeting, to classes and groups on campus after he returns and posting conference information on his blog, which can be accessed through a link on the ASG Web site.