This Roo hasn’t got deep pockets

Andrew Miller

On Jan. 28, the UM Board of Curators announced that next year’s tuition rates will go up by 4.8 percent. Also, course fees will rise in both the Henry W. Bloch School of Business Management and the School of Education.

UMKC, I know times are tough for you right now. I recognize that the state cut $63 million from your budget. But what makes you think that turning around and asking us to make that up is okay? Newsflash. The recession hit us pretty hard, too. It’s not as if my quality of education at UMKC is going up by 4.8 percent next year, so why should its price?

When was the last time UMKC, or any university, tried to save you money? Think really hard. Didn’t come up with anything? Me neither. We’re already nickel and dimed. Everyone pays an Athletic fee, Swinney Recreation fee, University Center fee, Student Union fee, Physical Facilities fee and many more.

The only free thing you can do on campus is read the newspaper. Oh wait, there’s a Collegiate Readership fee and we pay for that, too.

I understand the whole “a college education will allow you to earn more money in the future,” but honestly, I’d like to be able to enjoy having that financial security before I’m 70.

I want you all to be able to pay off your student loans before you have to send your own kids to college.

I acknowledge that there are people far smarter than me running the show.

Those in charge of campus finances are, I’m sure, well qualified, highly respected and have our best interests at heart.

They’re right. UMKC does need money. The lights have to stay on, the teachers need to be paid and the grass needs to be mowed.

But is there no other way we can keep UMKC open?

Are there other options we can explore before we just place the burden on students?

So what can we do about it? Those people at the top look so big from down here.

How about this. How about 14,000 students say “I’m sorry, but I’ve had enough” and those 14,000 students refuse to enroll for the 2011 fall semester until we’re promised a freeze on tuition, or at least some action to reduce that 4.8 percent.

Do you think that will send a message? Now is the time for organizations like the Student Government Association to step up to the plate and advocate for students.

This is an opportunity for student leadership to rally the troops and take on an issue that affects every single student.

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