Students raise tuition use concerns at meeting

Student leaders raised concerns about transparency regarding the destination of 10 percent of the university’s tuition cost at a board of trustees meeting Thursday night in the Kelly Alumni Center.

Intercom, a student relations committee composed of 13 student leaders, presented proposals to the board of trustees about changes the students would like to see.

Intercom member Lindsay Ray said that when students pay for their tuition, they are not informed that they are also paying for athletic tickets, Health Center costs, tutoring, laundry, University Recreation costs and printing. Ray said the university should consider allowing students to pay only for what they use.

Inflation usually ranges between 3 percent to 4 percent annually, Ray said, noting that last year’s tuition increased 5 percent, and two years ago it increased 8 percent.

Intercom member Kelsie Johnson proposed a Junior Trustee Model. This program would allow an elected young alumnus or alumna to meet with the board of trustees and share ideas.

It would be an expansion of Intercom, Johnson said. The purpose of a Junior Trustee Model would be to help young alumni feel directly connected to the board of trustees.

Improving bike traffic, housing and the counseling center were also on the agenda.

There has been an increase of bikes on campus this semester, Intercom member Whitney Waller said. Walkers and bikers sharing the same sidewalk causes congestion, but painting bike lanes or creating raised lane medians could solve this problem, Waller said.

Intercom member Eric Russell said the number of freshmen living in what is usually upperclassman housing would cause a less centralized community. He proposed marketing residential halls differently.

Russell also proposed renovating Worth Hills. The last renovation was in the 1990s, and it does not match the quality of the rest of campus, he said. Building custom homes for each fraternity and sorority, or buying homes near campus for the Greek community would also be an improvement, Russell said.

Intercom member Brittany Richards discussed ways to improve the counseling center. Four hundred students have failed to show up for their counseling appointments, and 330 students missed psychiatric appointments, she said.

Hiring a case manager would help decrease the number of no-shows, Richards said. A case manager would monitor attendance of appointments.