The Undergraduate Assembly yesterday asked the University Trustees to "keep tuition increases at a minimum," making its second annual tuition presentation to the Trustees' Budget and Finance Committee. Last year, the Trustees lowered the rate of increase of total tuition and fees from 7.3 percent to 6.7 percent. It was the smallest rate of increase in over a decade. Last year was also the first time the UA gave a tuition presentation. At this year's presentation, College sophomore Mitch Winston told Trustees that students are taking an active role in rallying student support for a lower rate of increase in tuition. He read the UA's resolution asking the Trustees to keep tuition increases low. The UA's resolution is co-sponsored by several prominent campus groups, including the Interfraternity Council, the Black Student League and SAC Steering. Winston said that several Trustees told him that the presentation "proved student commitment to the cause." Robert Fox, chairperson of the Trustees' Committee on Budget and Finance, said that the Trustees were very interested in the UA proposals. "We're very sympathetic," he said. "Every effort is being made by the Trustees to keep tuition increases down." Fox added, however, that with the current budget deficit faced by the University, "everything is going to be impacted." Senior Vice President Marna Whittington said that the Trustees were interested in the UA proposal, which she said showed that the students "did their homework." "The students are, after all, the reason we're all here," she said. Prior to the presentation, UA members met with Provost Michael Aiken, Vice President of Commonwealth Relations James Shada and Director of Resource Planning and Budget Ben Hoyle. The meetings were designed to give UA representatives suggestions on pursuing their goals. Winston said Aiken proved especially helpful. "He was really responsive," Winston said. The UA is now focusing its efforts on a petition drive, which members hope will receive 4000 signatures. The petition, which asks that the decrease in tuition hikes continue, will be taken to local government representatives for endorsement. The UA will then send copies to various University officials. UA representatives said that they hope that the petition will be a show of strong student support for their proposals. They said that while they realize that the University is facing budget problems, rising energy costs and a nationwide recession, they look for the University to share the tuition burden with students.Comments powered by Disqus
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