ASUSF Senate Requests No Tuition Increase

Members of the ASUSF Senate have presented a few new resolutions of great interest to the student body.
One resolution proposed at their Nov. 18 meeting could dramatically affect the financial stability of students and their families. This resolution would request that USF not raise tuition at all for the 2009-10 school year in light of the current economic crisis.
In years past, tuition increases have consistently been upwards of five percent.  In a recent USF news article, President Stephen A. Privett, S.J. said he would be asking the Board of Trustees to approve a substantially lower increase than that.  However, the tuition resolution proposed by ASUSF President Alexandra Platt, on-campus representative Sarah Reinheimer, sophomore class representative Patrick Sudlow, and junior class representative Jo Wiencek, seeks a zero percent increase in light of an economy where unemployment is on the rise and many families who were once financially stable will now struggle to afford tuition, even as it stands.
Despite the fact that USF is currently going to extreme measures to cut its budget, and could thus probably use the increased revenue more than ever, the senators reasoned that if tuition rises, many students will have to drop out for lack of money.  At a private university where 95% of the operating budget comes from student tuition, it is imperative that student enrollment not drop drastically.  The senators noted in their resolution that if 30 students were to withdraw from the university, it would equal $1 million in lost revenue.  In an informal survey conducted by senate, they found that 143 out of 200 students knew someone who was considering dropping out due to financial reasons.
The resolution also requests that USF increase its budget for financial aid to compensate for the projected increase in student need.
Vice President of University Life Margaret Higgins, who was present at the meeting, commented that the resolution “is not impossible,” but also stated that it would mean the university would have to cut its budget by five to 10 percent, which might affect the quality of experience that students currently enjoy.
Two other resolutions were written intending to improve the experience of campus life: one would have Crossroads extend their hours of operation on weekend nights and one would have the Gleeson Library allow USF students to check in non-USF student guests.
Sophomore class representatives Lansen Leu and Patrick Sudlow submitted the Crossroads resolution in order to offer students a safe and convenient place to go on weekends.   Under the new resolution, the student-run café would remain open until 3 a.m. When students who live on campus come home late, the senators felt it would be an improvement if students could stay on campus to eat rather than having to wander off campus to eateries on Geary or Haight Street, which is not only inconvenient but potentially unsafe. However, the safety of Crossroads employees was also considered in making this resolution. Working later at night could increase the chance of a robbery occurring.  To counteract this possibility, the senators recommended that the café stop accepting cash during the later hours, only accepting Flexi and credit cards as payment.
According to Sudlow, Bon Appetit manager Holly Winslow is supportive of the resolution, and hopes to begin trying out the extended hours soon. Some Crossroads employees have also expressed interest in working the later shifts, although it is possible more students would need to be hired to fill the extra shifts.  It is most likely that the next move will be for the café to try a three to four week trial period of operating under the extended hours to see how students respond to the change.
The Library Resolution, submitted by senior class representative Benjamin Kerelian and school of nursing representative Anthony Rivera, was written to override the current ban on non-student guests entering the Gleeson Library.  Under the current rules, there is only one way students can bring guests: they must call the library 24 hours in advance to ask permission.  The senators deemed this policy impractical and inconvenient.  Under their resolution, the library would allow students to check in guests similarly to how guests are checked into the residence halls.
Senate has been working to address the issues most pressing to their student constituents. Senate meetings are open to the public every Tuesday at 6 p.m.

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