NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - As the general election season heats up, with candidates vying for governor and the 120 seats in the state Legislature, a group of Rutgers University alumni have formed a state political action committee to help ensure the interests of the university are heard in the halls of Trenton.

The “Scarlet PAC” is not connected with the university; it is an independent political action committee with the sole goal of ensuring state lawmakers recognize the interests of Rutgers University in their discussions and debates of pending policies and funding.

The Scarlet PAC is being launched because of the ongoing decline in state funding for Rutgers students over the past 30 years. Meanwhile, competing interests including pensions, health care and transportation funding, continue to draw attention.

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These competing interests have historically utilized political action funds to ensure their issues are heard. Rutgers has not.

“For far too long, New Jersey has failed to invest enough in its flagship university,” said Maggie Moran, a Scarlet PAC co-chair. “Rutgers is a New Jersey gem, and should be supported at a much more significant level.”

Members of the Scarlet PAC will educate elected officials, the press and the public as to the incredible impact Rutgers has on our state, its graduates and our country, Moran said.

The political action committee hopes to engage Rutgers alumni to become more politically active and have a greater impact on decisions being made in Trenton that affect the university and higher education in the state, she added.

Rutgers has been a transformational force for generations of New Jerseyans, often bestowing the first diplomas for extended families emigrating to the U.S. The Scarlet PAC hopes to ensure that future generations benefit from the same opportunity and experience.

Mike DuHaime, the other co-chair of Scarlet PAC, agreed.

“Rutgers is a great institution that allows so many families to take the next step toward achieving the American dream by being the first in their families to graduate college,” DuHaime said. “As Rutgers takes the next step toward becoming one of the great major public research universities in America, we who have benefited so much from Rutgers must always look for ways to make it even stronger for the next generation.”

According to a Rutgers Economic Impact Study, there is no other state-funded entity in New Jersey that provides a better return on investment. University graduates fuel the state economy, impacting all facets.

There are now more than 250,000 alumni living in New Jersey.

To learn more about the charter members of Scarlet PAC – and to donate to the cause – visit the website.