About 100 LSU students gathered at the iconic Memorial Tower on Thursday to rally against the potential cuts to higher education expected to be dealt by the state Legislature in the coming weeks.

Students went through lists of legislator phone numbers, calling them to urge them to work together to save their schools and limit cuts to their services and scholarship dollars. They advocated that students use social media and emails to inundate their elected officials with pleas about making colleges and universities a priority.

Louisiana’s colleges and universities are facing a mid-year cut of at least $70 million for the last four months of the school year. The cut, in a worst case scenario could grow to more than $200 million, which education leaders say would result in early campus closures.

This is the first of at least two other student rallies planned in the coming days. On Friday, a rally for higher education, planned by the LSU Black Leadership Council and a group called Save our Schools Louisiana is planned for noon. Students will meet at 11:30 a.m. at State Capitol Park and march to the steps of the Capitol at noon.

On Wednesday, another rally is being sponsored by the council of student body presidents. Participants are being asked to “wear red for higher ed.” The rally is also on the steps of the capitol at noon.

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