Our View: Standing up for ourselves

Friday’s emergency meeting of the Board of Regents yielded the tuition increase that was expected. The Board of Regents raised tuition fees, as well as fees for student meal plans and residential housing plans for the upcoming semester.

While the increase in fees were not unexpected and reported in last week’s edition of The News, the actual numbers were not known at the time of publication. The Board of Regents voted to raise tuition fees by 4 percent, student meal plans by 4 percent, and residential housing plans by 3 percent.

It is worth noting that while the increases are substantial and raise the cost of going to Murray State University, they were not the highest the Board of Regents could have imposed.

State-imposed caps have set the maximum amount that tuition can be raised at 5 percent. The 4 percent increase is less of a financial burden than a 5 percent?increase would have been on students (and avoids the problem of pricing even more students out of an education), but the increase nonetheless could price some students out of being able to attend Murray State University.

To his credit, President Randy Dunn opposed the increase of 4 percent, proposing an increase of only 3 percent in his April 27th column in Roundabout U.

“Continuously putting tuition increases on the backs of students to offset losses in state appropriations and support will be both untenable and unsustainable for ensuring accessibility to higher education for the large group of students we serve,” Dunn said.

While we are thankful that the increase is not as large as it could have been and that the president made an effort to keep increases at a minimum with students in mind, we would like to reiterate our call for more student involvement as it concerns the issue of tuition and more broadly as it relates to our education here at Murray State.

If we do not participate in these discussions with the Board of Regents, with the president of the University and with our state legislators, then we will not be heard.

If we cannot present alternatives, if we cannot get students to come out and stand against tuition increase after tuition increase, then we can only stand and watch as tuition continues to move upward and more and more of us lose the chance at a decent education.

We can find some comfort in the Board of Regents’ decision to raise tuition only by 4 percent, and some comfort in Dunn sticking up for students, but what comfort can we offer to the students who will be priced out of the University because there has to be an increase at all?