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The Daily Tar Heel

Leaders Work Out Specifics Of Tuition Poll

The January referendum will allow voters to share their input on a tuition increase, and on where generated funds should go.

Kleysteuber said a definite date for the voting, which will be online, will be set by the end of this week.

But he said this is not a typical referendum. Rather than presenting voters with a statement they can choose whether or not to support, it will offer voters several options, including no tuition increase and several amounts of a potential increase.

The ballot will include a list of pros and cons with each option, outlining for voters what can and cannot be accomplished with that particular increase.

"We're not looking for one package but a menu of choices ranging from no tuition increase to things out of our range," Kleysteuber said. "What we want is for people to understand we can go different ways and different options hold different concepts."

The various options will be created by the Tuition Advisory Committee, which includes students, faculty and Board of Trustees members selected by Provost Robert Shelton. The committee was formed after the Nov. 15 BOT meeting. Chancellor James Moeser charged the group with determining whether there is a need for a tuition increase and drafting potential proposals.

But political science Professor Jim Stimson said providing a large amount of information on the ballot could confuse voters. "The traditional feeling is that the more information you provide, the more confused people will be in their voting," Stimson said. "I think it is a leap to believe people will interpret the choices the way they're formed."

He added that students who already have opinions on a tuition increase might doubt that their money will go to the things listed on the ballot.

But Kleysteuber said students should trust administrators to follow plans set forth on the ballot. "The chancellor and the provost are very strong in whatever we dedicate our increase to," he said. "They will stick to it. That's their commitment."

Stimson said studies show that voters often will support things that will give them more benefits even if they come at a higher price. He said the ballot's descriptions could lead to this kind of thinking.

Kleysteuber said student government will work to ensure the ballot does not affect voting. "It's our responsibility as the person designing the ballot to mitigate something like that as much as possible," he said. "We want to make it clear."

The University Editor can be reached at udesk@unc.edu.

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