Tampa, Florida -- This is a day when students' voices are heard. USF Day at the Capitol is an annual trip by the students which gives them a chance to talk with lawmakers and share stories of the growth and success they've had despite hard times.

Students boarded the bus and took off for Tallahassee around 5:30 Tuesday morning. The event takes place from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Inside the Capitol, about 10 tables will be set up, each putting the spotlight on a different area of the USF System.

Students will meet with legislators to talk about USF programs as well as issues ranging from funding to in-state tuition for veterans.

They will also deliver several hundred handwritten postcards, asking legislators to restore $300 million and invest an additional $118 million for state universities in this year's state budget.

If that investment is made, state university presidents say they will not raise tuition next year.

"There should be a focus on restoring the funding that was lost over the last few years and really making that commitment to our education. Because for the state of Florida to stay competitive with other states, there needs to be competitive universities with adequate funding to achieve that goal," says Abdool Aziz, a Student Government Senator.

This year's USF Day at the Capitol could take on a new meaning considering the events that took place last year with USF's budget.

I'm sure you remember, last year, an initial budget for the legislature stripped USF of nearly 60% of its state funding.

This was after JD Alexander, the chairman of the Senate Budget committee, went to war with USF President Judy Genshaft over leadership at USF-Polytechnic, the state's 12th university in Lakeland.

Alexander represented East Polk, he wrapped up his last term in 2012 because of term limits.

After a campaign spearheaded by 10 News, the state restored 71% of USF's budget.

USF President Judy Genshaft and Head Football Coach Willie Taggart are also expected to attend.

Follow 10 News Anchor Allison Kropff on twitter @AllisonKropff

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