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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Last tuition battle today

    The Arizona Students Association and the Associated of Students of the University of Arizona have been working all semester to protect the interests of students, and they hope to stage one last rally against the proposed tuition surcharge the Arizona Board of Regents will vote on today.

    The regents will meet today beginning at 9:30 a.m. in the North Ballroom of the Student Union Memorial Center to consider, among other things, the proposed $1,100 tuition surcharge that would go into effect July 1.

    Both ASA and ASUA have already voiced their opposition to the surcharge. ASA is currently in the midst of a campaign encouraging students to share how the $1,100 cut would impact them. They are also trying to encourage students to attend today’s meeting.

    “”We still hold the stance that this is not the right time for these tuition increases,”” said ASA President Michael Slugocki. “”We need to wait until December to look at raising tuition.””

    With the exception of the Graduate and Professional Student Council, student leadership organizations on campus are vehemently opposed to any mid-year tuition increases.

    “”We see some kind of increase as necessary”” said GPSC President David Talenfeld “”We are hoping that it will be slightly lower than is proposed now. A lower tuition surcharge is likely to be the case. I think they (the regents) gave a highball estimate and are really expecting a lower one.””

    Talenfeld said he believes that, for the most part, graduate students feel the same as undergraduate students. He said the only graduate students who are likely to feel differently are teaching assistants.

    When TAs look at more budget cuts to the university, they see their jobs being cut and class sizes growing, Talenfeld said.

    “”I think they see themselves in between the student and the administrator,”” he said. “”Their tuition won’t be as affected because of tuition remissions and it is easier for them to see the administrator and teacher’s point of view.””

    Ernest Calderon, vice president of the ABOR, said that although he normally supports the students, the current state of the Arizona economy forced him to think otherwise.

    He said the board has been in contact with Governor Jan Brewer on a daily basis trying to estimate how much federal stimulus money the universities will get as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

    “”I think the students have given a very good response to the board of regents,”” Calderon said. “”I can’t agree with them 100 percent because I think we are going to have to pass some kind of a surcharge.””

    UA President Robert Shelton said because the tuition surcharges being considered will eventually be removed, students should be more understanding of the current state of the university.

    According to Shelton’s tuition proposal, both the UA and Arizona State University will cut tuition costs once the state-provided university budget returns to the 2008 budget. The proposed economic surcharges will also be reviewed annually.

    “”We think this is the right balance,”” Shelton said. “”People can argue whether it is the right balance, but it is hard to argue a zero position and make it seem intelligible.””

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