Student government leaders from the eight Kentucky universities convened in Frankfort, Ky., Tuesday to rally for higher education.
Kevin Golden, Northern Kentucky University’s Student Government Association President, said the idea behind the rally is to make sure Kentucky legislators don’t forget about higher education funding as they make next year’s budget.
Golden and Senator Austin Green stressed that tuition increases are inevitable. They said their goal is to keep tuition increases “managable” for students.
But as SGA claims to be looking out for students, they are lobbying Frankfort for permission to add a student fee on top of tuition increases.
Green refused comment when asked if he thought it was fair to push additional expenses on students who are already facing increased tuition, parking fees, housing and meal plan costs.
The new fee would bring money to improve the Campus Recreation Center, which Green argued would help draw new students to campus. But, Green said, NKU is the fastest-growing university in the state. If that is the case, why do we need to improve our Rec Center to maintain that growth?
Golden said all eight Kentucky Colleges are asking for additional fees to improve their Recreation Centers, increasing the likeihood of it being approved.
In the Feb. 28 SGA meeting, NKU announced fee increases for student services. Parking permit costs will exceed $200 next year and meal plan costs for students who live on campus will increase.
Instead of letting these changes go unchallenged, SGA should stand up for students and fight to keep these costs contained.
As NKU grows, more problems are presented. One of the university’s main marketing points is a small class size that provides individualized attention.
But as the number of students increase, academic buildings are not increasing proportionately. Instead of lobbying for increased student fees, why doesn’t SGA petition for funding to create additional classroom space?
There is no such thing as a “managable” increase for students.
SGA should stop pretending to look out for student interests when they are, in reality, looking out for the interests of NKU’s administration.
Most students would not like to see their tuition and fees increased just for an improved Recreation Center.
Instead, they would rather have this money left in their pockets to purchase books and supplies that they too often go without.
When in an economic crisis, the answer is not to put students further into debt. Instead, NKU should focus on making more opportunities for students to achieve a brighter future.
SGA should tell legislators that the reason more students don’t get involved in politics is that they know their feedback doesn’t matter. SGA should stop bending over backwards to placate politicians in Frankfort.
No one is saying having an improved Campus Recreation Center wouldn’t be nice. But SGA needs to check its priorities and decide which is more important: improving facilities or making college more affordable for more students.
Editorial by Cassie Stone and Jesse Call