Tuition Highlights Monthly Student Council Meeting

Kohrman briefs students on inevitable cost increase scenarios

Shawn Wright

The cost of education at Wayne State for the fall semester was the hot topic during the Student Council’s regular monthly meeting.

Tuition rates and how much they will increase was the main focus during an informal presentation given by Robert Kohrman, associate vice president of university budget.

During the July 17 meeting, it was announced that state appropriations to universities will be 1 percent increase from last year, meaning that Wayne State’s administrative recommendation is a 6.3 percent raise from last year’s tuition costs.

Under this recommendation, it will be an estimated $14.23 more per credit hour. For a three credit class, the average student will be paying an estimated $47 extra – this is contingent on the fact that the state will give WSU the extra 1 percent in appropriations.

Jacob Kinde, Student Council president, asked Kohrman as to what the council can do, if anything, to help students ease the costs.
Kohrman suggested that the biggest way to send a message is if every student ascended upon Lansing, making their presence known and voices heard.

“Show them how important it is,” Kohrman said. “Show them how broke you are.”

Matthew Koss, WSU Law School representative and parliamentarian on the council, posed the question on private funding and how it can affect tuition.

“Those donations that come from private donors cannot be used – the money is restricted,” Kohrman said. “What happens is that it’s like a savings account and can only be used for its intended purpose.”

Fellow council member James Gale, representing the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, asked if he what he saw during the presentation was correct when it was shown that Michigan prisons received more state funding than schools did.

“As a whole, the state of Michigan gives more money to correction facilities than they do to higher education,” Kohrman replied.

When council members inquired why some universities posted less of an increase in their tuition a few months ago, Kohrman pointed out that those schools did so before the state made its decision on appropriations.

“They (other universities) just wanted to get out of the gate early, brag about how low they are,” Kohrman said. “I can almost guarantee you that they will change their cost. But Wayne State is an amazing institution — for the tuition that you pay and what you get, we are the most cost effective.”

An informational meeting will be held by the Board of Governors on July 23 at 2 p.m. in Room 4339 of the Faculty/Administration Building to discuss how much tuition will rise for the fall semester. The board will formally vote on an increase during its regularly scheduled July 30 meeting at 9 a.m. in the McGregor Memorial Conference Center. All meetings are open to the public.

Other business

– Student Council Treasurer Darryl Tucker recommended that $23,050 be approved for the Indian Student Association’s concert AWAAZ II, which they would like to showcase in September.

The student organization was not present at the meeting, giving some council members reservations on approving the recommendation.

“I feel that if a student organization wants money for something, they should at least have some representatives here to ask for it,” Katrina Fenton, member at large and the office of governmental affairs representative on the council, said. “It’s a lot of money to be giving out that could be given out to many different organizations.”

The council approved the event by a vote of 9-6.

– Appointments: Koss nominated fellow council member Sarah Burkett to the By-Laws Committee, which was approved by the council.

– A tentative agreement was reached on the annual retreat.

– The council discussed the ongoing status of receiving new computers from C&IT.; David Strauss, WSU Dean of Students, acknowledged the slow process from C&IT.;

– Student Council President Kinde addressed the lack of communication between council members. He proposed everyone having a G-mail account where every member can sync-up dates, schedules and information. No one opposed it.

– It was voted that WSU President Dr. Irvin D. Reid be made an Honorary Professor Emeritus of the Student Council, a title which will be given to him upon his official resignation on July 30.

– It was recommended by President Kinde that the council returns back to the bi-monthly meeting schedule.

“I feel that it’s our responsibility and duty to return to the regular meeting schedule,” Kinde said. “It is our job to return to the normal schedule so we can help out the students better – what we should be doing.”

The next meeting will be Aug. 21 at 6 p.m. in the Hilberry A, second floor of the Student Center. The council will be meeting with Dr. Jay Noren, the next president of WSU, in what they hope will be the first of many personal interactions between the president and Student Council.

– Chamonix Reed, vice president of the council, presented a proposal to establish a Student Council public relations committee to get the word out to properly interact with students. It was approved.

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