By Eric Reath, Joe Ste.Marie and Emily Yu
On Monday, the Student Government released its recommendations to the AU Board of Trustees, administration and students concerning the creation of the budget for the next two fiscal years.
We presented three recommendations: increase the amount of financial aid, limit tuition increase as much as possible and make University finances more transparent. The University budget provides an opportunity to address the increasing burden of tuition, exacerbated by falling household incomes, elective borrowing and nationwide economic uncertainty.
Though it is easy to get lost in budget reports and policy recommendations, tuition is not just a number. For parents, it represents another cost atop increasingly strained household budgets. For the University, it represents operating revenue that pays professors’ salaries and heats buildings. For students, it all too often represents a future in debt.
Let us be clear: Our primary concern is to make AU as financially accessible as possible. That means increasing financial aid while keeping a tuition increase as close to zero as possible.
Our recommendations, however, offer only one of many opinions about how the University’s budget should be addressed. We respect all student perspectives and encourage everyone to make their voice heard.
We urge our fellow students to continue this discussion with respect and civility for the campus community, President Kerwin and the Board of Trustees.
After all, we ultimately want the same result: a better AU.
Eric Reath, Chairman of the Commission on University Budget Policy
Joe Ste.Marie, Comptroller of the Student Government
Emily Yu, President of the Student Government