The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday September 25th

Let the students decide: Proposed fee increases should be allowed on ballot

Student Congress's decision to strike two proposed fee referendums from Tuesday's ballot was an exercise in poor judgment.

In a vote Wednesday Congress members shot down referendums for a $10.37 increase to the Child Care Services Fee and a $6 increase to the Student Activities Fee.

Members of Student Congress didn't vote against the fee increases directly — they voted against our right to vote on them.

Congress denied us a say in how our student fees are spent.

The question of whether or not the fee increases are warranted is certainly debatable.

At a time when the University is being forced to cut funding across the board and more and more students are struggling to pay tuition raising fees might not be the wisest move.

However" the right of students to vote on these issues for themselves is beyond debate.

Congress' main defense is that students shouldn't be ""burdened"" with the prospect of voting on referendums they know little to nothing about.

If students aren't properly informed of the measures on which they are voting" then the democratic process ultimately suffers.

That justification is condescending.

That is why Student Body President J.J. Raynor's petition to get these referendums on the ballot for a Feb. 17 runoff deserves our full support.

Raynor's initiative promises to raise awareness on these measures.

If the petition succeeds and students are able to voice their opinions" then they will do so better prepared to make informed decisions.

The preamble of the the Student Code says that Congress must seek to uphold a tradition of ""responsible student self-government.""

There is nothing ""responsible"" about denying students their right to vote.

Sign the petition in Suite 2501 in the Student Union.

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