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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Recommend for students, Shelton”

    Voting season is not the only highly contentious public event in November for UA students.

    Next week, President Shelton makes his recommendations to the Arizona Board of Regents for next year’s tuition, detailing possible increases.

    The rising cost of tuition affects all students – those who are here on campus and those for whom the high price tag on university tuition has made attendance impossible. Shelton will be recommending an increase of 6.5 percent – no surprise, in a climate of increasing costs and decreasing state support. The five-year annual average increase for undergraduate residents has been 13.8 percent, for nonresidents 7.6 percent, according to the board of regents’ Web site.

    Despite the loud cries for student involvement in this process, it’s likely that we’ll face some degree of tuition increase no matter what we do – decreasing funds from the state Legislature make this self-explanatory.

    However, this year’s tuition-setting process is a little different.

    Tuition is being set by the board of regents in the fall instead of the spring. The process is being accelerated, which allows for student organizations to lobby the Legislature more effectively and Shelton to place more weight on the Legislature.

    Typically, when tuition is set, presidents know how much funding they will receive from the state and, in turn, they can base their tuition proposals off of such funding. Shelton faces the increased obstacle of uncertainty.

    Shelton’s proposal of a 6.5 percent resident tuition increase equates to about $300. It’s higher than the $267 increase for this school year, but lower than the $400 increase in 2005-2006. Shelton doesn’t know what sort of funding the UA will receive from the state, of course, so he’s planning for a cushion.

    And although it is difficult to earmark funds based off of student needs like class availability before tuition is officially set, we encourage Shelton to take an active role in addressing student tuition concerns than other presidents have during this process.

    The UA and the board of regents should listen to students: Instead of increasing tuition to compensate for a lack of state funding, the board should increase tuition to make for a better institution, one that effectively serves the needs of its students.

    Shelton needs to prove himself an effective communicator to the Legislature. Shelton should listen to the students and the student survey that is being conducted by the Associated Students of the University of Arizona and the Graduate and Professional Student Council.

    And students should participate in the survey. If you received a tuition survey in your e-mail inbox this week, don’t trash it. And if you already deleted it, go find it at www.arizona.edu/survey/121.html. Fill it out, and think hard about your responses. Are you frustrated with a lack of class availability? Need more and better advising services? Want more options in your major? This is your chance to air these concerns.

    And don’t hesitate to voice more specific concerns to our elected represtatives in the Associated Students of the University of Arizona and the Graduate and Professional Student Council. It’s their job to listen to and represent us.

    Just as you can’t complain about the state of public affairs if you don’t vote, you can’t complain about your tuition if you don’t take the time to voice your opinions through these very easy channels. So speak up.

    And perhaps, come December, we’ll see a tuition policy we can all be happy with.

    Don’t let us down, Shelton. Listen to us, and make sure our voices are heard.

    Opinion’s Board

    Opinions are determined by the Wildcat opinions board and written by one of its members.

    They are Nina Conrad, Lori Foley, Ryan Johnson, Ari Lerner, Nicole Santa Cruz and Matt Stone.

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