The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday May 19th

Students Focus Tuition Battle on BOG

Young said that although the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees listened to a student government presentation at Thursday's meeting, the trustees were already prepared to recommend a one-year, $400 tuition increase.

"It seemed like a lot of them had their minds made up," he said.

But with more than a month before the BOG's March 6 meeting, when it is set to vote on the BOT's recommendation and all UNC-system campus-initiated tuition increases, Young said he hopes to take a more proactive approach to influencing BOG members' stance on tuition increases.

UNC-CH student leaders will work with representatives from the UNC Association of Student Governments to personally contact BOG members, Young said.

During these contacts, Young said, student leaders plan to lay out the same principles he and Graduate and Professional Student Federation President Mikisha Brown presented at the BOT meeting.

In their presentation, Brown and Young expressed concern about whether UNC-CH will remain affordable, whether the N.C. General Assembly will continue to fund the University and whether a tuition increase will solve UNC-CH's financial woes.

Student Body Vice President Rudy Kleysteuber said time constraints limited student leaders' face-to-face contact with BOT members and that they plan to focus on personal interactions with members of the BOG.

"In the next couple months, we'll be focusing on personal inroads," he said.

Brown said she also will work to lobby the BOG to make sure the amount of the proposed $400 increase does not rise.

Besides the $400 tuition increase proposal specific to UNC-CH, Young said the contacts with the BOG will recommend that higher education funding come from the General Assembly, not campus-based tuition increases.

At its Feb. 8 meeting, the BOG will begin discussion of its tuition policy, which calls for the body to only grant campus-based increases in "extraordinary" circumstances.

Under this policy, which was adopted in 1998, the BOG has approved requests for tuition increases at 11 UNC-system schools.

Young said he hopes students will have a voice in the ongoing tuition debate.

"We're trying to get as much student feedback as possible," he said. "We're trying to re-evaluate our best way to attack and our best way to communicate."

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

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