Letter to the Editor: Beware of hollow promises to fight tuition increases

Editor:

Recently interning for two members of the Utah House of Representatives who sat on both the education standing committee, as well as the higher education appropriations subcommittee (where the funding granted to higher education is actually debated),gave mesome insight into the current Associated Students of the University of Utah election.

Noticing that many ASUUcandidates draw student appealby promising an aggressive fight to tuition increases,I would submit to the U student body that thisplatformis not commendable.

Student-body presidents haveso little say in the rates of tuition that it is foolishto give any electoral sway toa candidate who promises success in this category.

Tuition rates for all seven of Utah’s state-funded collegesare mulled over extensively by 12 representatives of the higher education subcommittee.

Their analysis is then given to an executive committee who, with thedirection of the governor, grants a budget cut to higher education.

Thecommissioner of higher education and the state Board of Regentsthen take the money given, and with the insight fromthe president of the university, decideon a tuition increase.

All the key players in this process know that students want lower tuition and that a student-body president will voice this opinion.

It doesn’t change the budgetary matter on the issue.

Since tuition covers onlyone third of the cost of our schooling,the monetary amount we do pay is much more a reflection of the entire legislative budget than simply banter from an electedstudent representative.

Nowhere in the aforementioned pecking order are student body presidents given any real clout, so we would be best served to elect a candidate that focuses on more applicable issues, like the fees we pay and how they are spent.

Adam Reiser

Junior

Political Science