By Shauna Simeone / Opinion Editor
On March 11, trustees from the University of Connecticut announced that UConn students would be facing a 6 percent tuition hike for the 2009-2010 school year. This came as a surprise seeing as most students, as well as the University President supported an 8.67 percent increase.
The trustees at UConn planned to set the tuition a month ago, but Governor Jodi Rell persuaded them to wait until there was a clearer picture of what the budget was going to look like for next year. I commend the trustees at UConn for being upfront about the tuition increase, and for announcing it in a timely manner.
Many students at Central are concerned about what tuition will look like for the upcoming academic year. CCSU President Jack Miller confirmed to The Recorder in the past that there will be a tuition hike, but the amount is unknown.
As of a recent Connecticut State University System board of trustees meeting held on March 12, the tuition increase had still not been announced.
Many Central students are already being squeezed to cover their expenses, and the unspecified tuition increase is adding more anxiety to students’ lives. If the percent increase were announced, students would at least be able to prepare for their financial future. But as it is, all students can do is wonder and worry.
In a Dec. 28 article in the Hartford Courant, it was stated that the CSU Chancellor David Carter proposed waiving the 15 percent cap on tuition increases if the budget were cut by over 10 percent.
The fact that removing the cap is even being proposed is troubling, especially considering that Rell’s budget will definitely include cuts to the CSU system.
Students are being left in the dark and have no idea what to prepare for. If there were a significant tuition increase, students would have to apply for more student loans, and the administration cannot expect students to do that at the last minute.
There is no reason for CCSU to keep the students in the dark. They are obligated to be upfront about the expenses that students will have to bear in the future.
This lack of directness also applies to budget cuts. The University should tell the faculty and students what they can expect when it comes to job cuts or services that will not be available. Job cuts will greatly affect faculty and students who rely on university jobs as a source of income.
If student jobs and internships are going to be cut, then let the students know. It is hard to find a new job in this environment, and students should be told as soon as possible if their job is threatened so that they can begin the search for a new one.
The CCSU administration needs to realize that CCSU students are pressed to pay their bills and expenses. The more direct that the University is about budget cuts and tuition hikes, the easier it will be for students to deal with.
We are part of the CCSU community, and deserve the truth. CCSU should follow UConn’s example and let the students know what is going to happen with their school.