STAFF EDITORIAL: Take a closer look at Prop. 4 before heading to the polls
Today is Election Day. There are a couple of items on the Houston ballot worth looking into. But many Houstonians are politically apathetic, which is why student participation may actually make a difference in this election.
For one, Proposition 4 is on the ballot, which may directly affect everyone at UH. Proposition 4, if passed, would put UH into competition with six other universities for research funding that may help it become a powerful research institution.
The question is: Will such a university still be friendly to working students, commonly referred to as ‘non-traditional,’ with the path it’s taking?
UH’s master plan is geared toward making it more attractive to traditional students, paired with less and less regard for commuting students. For example, on-campus residences such as the Calhoun Lofts are too costly for most UH students.
From a tuition standpoint, UH is already growing less affordable as compared to six years ago. Although’ it is great that UH President Renu Khator is making strides towards earning a better reputation for UH and removing the figurative ‘Cougar High’ label, there must also be a way to account for non-traditional students.
Khator has said that if the university is not for working students, it is not a university for her. However, there are no clear actions toward fulfilling that sentiment. There are, however, clear actions geared toward making UH more expensive and exclusive and to steer away from ‘non-traditional’ students.
The UH Health Center recently conducted a study and found that the average age of UH students is 27. Most of these students have jobs, a family of their own and came to UH to better themselves by furthering their education.
While striving for flagship status is a reasonable goal for every university, only a handful of students understand the actual meaning beyond the fact that it looks cool on a T-shirt.