Tuition increase a necessary evil
Americans across the country are feeling the effects of a troubled economy. Jobs are constantly being cut in many industries, hours being drastically reduced and many schools are being forced to make cuts in spending.
The University Of California Board Of Regents raised tuition rates Nov. 19 by a rigorous 32 percent. Consequently, a massive protest by the UC Davis student body ensued.
Students began occupying various areas on the campus, preventing buildings from being closed at scheduled times, and taking over classroom buildings, staying as long as they wanted to.
Budget woes aren’t isolated to California, though. UH approved a 3.95 percent tuition increase for its main campus Feb. 16, adding about $138 to the average undergraduate student’s tuition bill.
Students who are furious about the slight tuition increase handed out flyers at the M.D. Anderson Memorial Library last week that proclaimed, “Education should be free!”
It is important for protesters and angry students to recognize the fact that a quality education at an institute such as UH can never be free.
The flyer also stated that “(UH) prides itself on being ‘the most diverse university in the country,’ yet threatens working class students and people of color with these hikes and cuts.”
Those same students must also acknowledge that the University isn’t the only party at fault here.
Gov. Rick Perry and several legislators instructed state-funded universities and colleges to revise their budgets in order to produce a 5 percent reduction in spending.
In addition, the Texas Education Agency recently proposed budget cuts of more than $135 million for the fiscal years 2010-11.
While it is understandable that students are upset, their anger is being improperly channeled. It is true that the University could reduce spending in non-essential areas, but students need to acknowledge that with less state funding, the University has no choice but to do less, and in some instances, raise tuition.
If UH were to continue on its previous path, there would be an outcry alleging that the University was living beyond its means.
Instead of only choosing to evaluate one side of the problem, students need to write and call their state legislators and remind them that the cuts they ask the University to make have the potential to cause unpleasant results.
We need to remind them that we, as future graduates, determine the course of our state, and ultimately, the entire nation.
Patrick Levy is a communication freshman and may be reached at [email protected]