About 100 students with signs and homemade drums raised a ruckus at N.C. State University's Bell Tower this afternoon in a warm-up rally to oppose proposed budget cuts.
The crowd included high school students and college students from various UNC campuses as far away as Appalachian State University.
"This is no budget crisis," said Bryan Perlmutter, a sophomore at N.C. State, where a cut of $80 million is feared. "It's a moral crisis. We will no longer sit back and watch the legislature tear apart the future of this state."
The House budget proposal includes a cut of about $1 billion to all sectors of education. The UNC system would face the highest percentage cut -- more than 15 percent.
After a few passionate speeches, the crowd marched down Hillsborough Street to join thousands of teachers at a rally sponsored by the N.C. Association of Educators. Gov. Bev Perdue is scheduled to speak to the big crowd late today.