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Senate asks that new fees benefit entire student body

December 14, 2006

Student Senate sent a message to administration that certain requirements must be met if students are required to pay for differential tuition.

“We [Senate] have the final say in what students should pay for,” President Joe Eggers said. “No matter what administration or policies say, we can stop it.”

Differential tuition’s structure can be used in two ways, he said. First, it can be treated like segregated fees in the way it ties into students’ money. The second way of utilizing the payment is to give administration very limited involvement.

Senator Jim Vierling said having student segregated fees allows students to voice an opinion as to whether they want to pay the increasing price every school year.

“Last year the fees increased by 4.7 percent,” he said. “The [UW] System requires a certain percentage increase, and if the campus goes above like we did last year, administration has to explain the huge increase.”

With differential tuition, administration does not have to explain what the costs will be for, Vierling said.

“It can increase by whatever it wants,” he said. “But administration has to request these increases, which is not required within seg fees.”

The reason for the motion is to give Senate and its members some language for the future if administration wants students to pay the differential tuition, Eggers said.

“This will give them an idea of what we are addressing now,” he said. “Every student should have access to what they are paying for, and that is what we want to consider for this.”

Senate’s stance is if administration does implement the tuition, it must be beneficial to the entire student body. The tuition also must not be pay for something that seg fees already fund.

If in fact differential tuition is required by administration and Senate approves the cost, a final requirement within Senate’s proposal enables students from the lowest income bracket to continue to afford the cost of attending UW-River Falls.

“This is just saying that if they [administration] come forth, it’s to go meet these requirements,” Eggers said. “Then we will debate it.”

Other Senate News

  • After Senate conducted a safety walk with Public Safety, the Women’s Initiatives Committee highlighted security concerns found on campus, urging changes to be made for the safety of students at UWRF. Senate recommended the grounds crew trim back the overgrowth along the back path from O Lot to campus; create a better way to identify the crosswalks within campus streets, not including Cascade Avenue; and increase the amount of lighting on the back path. The recommendations were forwarded to Public Safety, Chancellor Don Betz and River Falls Mayor Don Richards.
  • After investigating a grip line complaint, Senator Ashley Olson said she found a need for UWRF to provide a service for tutoring and note-taking for students who speak English as a second language. “Students are struggling because they do not understand a lecture or text,” she said. “There is no specific way for these students to get the information they need for classes.” A motion was forwarded to the administration to assess the situation and find an efficient way to implement the services and provide funding, which is not to be charged to the students.

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