DURHAM - Student leaders at the University of New Hampshire delivered a petition to the university system's board of trustees Wednesday expressing their support for UNH student lawyer Joanne Stella.
The petition comes just three months after the board made a policy change prohibiting the use of student fees to pay for the legal representation of a student involved in a criminal case.The board implemented the change in December and directed that it go into effect on July 1 this year.
Student leaders also presented the board with proposed amendments to the policy change.
Under the new policy implemented by the trustees, Stella
would be allowed to represent students only in civil matters. Stella
receives a stipend from the student activity fee, a mandatory fee paid by all undergraduates.
Student leaders at UNH
were outraged at the policy change and in January began gathering signatures for the petition they presented to the trustees on Wednesday in support of Stella
Members of the Student Senate
obtained 2,042 signatures, according to Student Senate
Speaker Jennifer Francque, adding that the Student Senate also received 11 letters from alumni in support of their effort.
Approximately 30 students gathered outside the New England Center on Wednesday
, the site of the trustees meeting, to show their support for Stella
Sophomore Jason Heany, public relations manager for the Student Senate
, said he
mid-term exam to attend the rally.
Heany said his
professor supports his
actions and allowed him to reschedule the test.
"The support from faculty and staff has been amazing," he