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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Editorial

    The bill is coming due.

    As UA students, staff and faculty, we’ve pulled together over the past month in amazing numbers to protest the severe cutbacks in state funding to the university, but so far our cries and chants have fallen on deaf ears in Phoenix. No doubt our protests will continue in hopes of averting even more severe cuts in future fiscal years, but for now an uneasy stillness has fallen over campus as President Robert Shelton and his administration try to sort out ways to deal with the damage.

    That stillness hasn’t lifted yet, but it’s readily apparent to us all that in the end, UA students are going to shoulder a larger share of the costs of operating our university. The only questions that remain are: What will these increased costs be, and how will they be paid?

    The latter question, at least, appears to have already been answered.

    In a story published last Friday in The Arizona Daily Star, Shelton said he planned to ask the Arizona Board of Regents for an additional student fee – “”a fee tied to what the state did not fund,”” as he put it.

    We strongly urge President Shelton to reconsider.

    Students are united by a common feeling that we shoulder a disproportionate share of the cost of higher education, compared both to the tuition paid by past generations of students and to the benefits that higher education brings to Arizona. Despite this, it’s obvious that a precipitous drop in state support is imminent, and most students have come to terms with the idea that they’re going to have to pick up the slack.

    We believe, however, that the appropriate place for these costs to be paid is through tuition. Tuition is the money that students pay to the university specifically to cover the cost of our education, and if the cost of our education increases, it is this amount that ought to be increased to cover it.

    Fees, on the other hand, are generally money that students pay for enhancements to our college experience. From our student radio station to recreation facilities to student union amenities to student lobbying, fees are primarily devoted to amenities on campus that improve student life outside the classroom.

    In fairness, it should be noted that fees such as the library and information technology fee have also been added to the bill in recent years, but these are a minority of fees and should remain so.

    The idea of a fee to cover, say, the university’s electric bill is a dangerous precedent to set – if for no other reason than that while tuition is set annually, student fees once established tend to remain in perpetuity. Tuition, on the other hand, could theoretically drop a bit should the voters of Arizona ever come to their senses and select more progressive leaders to send to Phoenix.

    We can only hope.

    Editorials are determined by the Daily Wildcat opinions board and written by one of its members. They are Cody Calamaio, Justyn Dillingham, Taylor Kessinger, Heather Price-Wright, and Nickolas Seibel.

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