Student Senate members discussed the proposed increases to tuition during the 2017-18 school year at this week’s meeting, and addressed the petition for Ohio University to become a sanctuary campus.
The Budget Planning Council is voting Dec. 2 on the possible increase of tuition. This increase will only affect students who are not part of the OHIO Guarantee, which locks the tuition rate for certain students for their time at OU. The proposed increase is 3.3 percent for in-state students, with a room rate increase of 3.5 percent and 2 percent increase to the dining rate.
Senate President Hannah Clouser explained that there is a deficit from a previous budget of $5,600,00 that needs to be filled, and this money would help fill the gap created.
“We still have $5.6 million less than two years ago, and we have to cover $5.6 million in reserves that we spent last year,” she said.
When asked if the tuition would go down again, Clouser seemed hopeful.
“I would imagine (tuition would lower) because that was one of the first things I asked at the first meeting,” Clouser said. “In theory, you could potentially lower, and definitely in the future you would see less.”
Clouser also spoke about the university committee meeting, where members discussed the recent petition for OU to become a sanctuary campus. This would mean that the campus would be a safe place for undocumented immigrants, providing many legal changes. It would also likely affect federal funding.
“It was determined it would be a policy change, rather than a code conduct change. If we want to look into this, we would have to go to the Office of University Equity and Civil Rights Compliance,” Clouser said.
Treasurer Steve Lichtenfels spoke about the library committee, who now knows that the fourth floor of Alden will be open 24/7 next year and will possibly have a card-swipe system for after midnight.
Three resolutions were passed during the meeting: funding for office supplies in the Senate office and the appointment of Brianna McElrath and Cre’Shaun Cole to the Black Affairs Commission. The rules and procedures for the spring semester election were suspended so that Senate can move the election to a time better suited around spring break. The elections will now be held on April 3 and 4, with passive campaigning starting on March 14.
Student Senate meets weekly on Wednesdays at 7:15 p.m. in Walter 235.