USC Upstate students protest state funding cuts

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Attempts by state legislators to cut university funding over controversial plays and books are causing a backlash on South Carolina campuses.

University of South Carolina Upstate students were protesting Thursday by wearing black and staying silent in response to the House’s proposal to cut $17,000 from the school. The College of Charleston could lose $52,000. Lawmakers were upset because of assigned reading and hosting of plays with gay themes.

A satirical lesbian play was cancelled last week at USC Upstate after Republican Sens. Lee Bright of Roebuck and Mike Fair of Greenville voted against the reappointment of USC’s board of trustees because of the performance.

The College of Charleston plans to host two performances next week of Pulitzer finalist Alison Bechdel’s play, “Fun Home,” without using state funds.