Ghost Hunter student goes international

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Jan 312010
Authors: Sara Michael

Editor’s note: Karl Pfeiffer is the brother of Collegian Binary Boy Glen Pfeiffer.

CSU creative writing student Karl Pfeiffer will return to his life as a ghost hunter sometime in the next few weeks. This time, he’s going abroad.

During September and October, Karl Pfeiffer was one of five students chosen to be on “Ghost Hunters Academy,” a SyFy channel show that he applied for on a whim. On the show’s final episode, he was told he would be sent overseas with the network’s show “Ghost Hunters International.”

“I didn’t expect anything from it,” he said, smiling to himself. “And then I was on it, and they wound up asking me to go on their international production.”

Karl Pfeiffer doesn’t know when he’s leaving, or where he will be going.

Shrugging, he said he knew the departure and details would be last minute, and he said that his experiences with the show have taught him to be patient.

As one of two students from Ghost Hunters Academy to graduate to the international level, Karl Pfeiffer said he is excited to go overseas because he’s never been abroad.

“This is the absolute most perfect opportunity,” he said. “A couple weeks ago I was nervous. Now I’m getting antsy.”

His mom, Linda Pfeiffer, is not so gung-ho about his impending departure. She feels a little trepidation, she said, but overall, his family has supported him from day one.

“Karl has had an interest in the paranormal since he was six or seven,” she said. “It was mostly a matter of sharing his excitement.”

When he got the offer, Linda Pfeiffer said the family told him it was an opportunity he couldn’t turn down.

“He’s got to live his life while he’s got it to live,” she said.

While Karl Pfeiffer described his new career as “sweet,” his semi-celebrity status is more a point of humor than anything else. Last season, he and another teammate had a “race for followers” with their Twitter accounts.

Their initial goal was to see who could get 300 followers, and Karl Pfeiffer said that the competition didn’t really pick up until the last night the show aired.

“It was fun, sitting there and watching the numbers go up,” he said. “He beat me, but we both got up to 450.” He said the most enjoyable part of the fame was making light of it all.

Through it all, Karl Pfeiffer said, the show hasn’t really changed his beliefs on the existence paranormal things –– he still harbors a fascination with the dark and creepy.

The best part, he said, is the chance to visit “possibly insanely haunted locations” that he otherwise wouldn’t have access to. “These places are huge –– they’re history.”

Staff writer Sara Michael can be reached at

 Posted by at 2:50 pm

‘Invictus’ showcases powerful performance by Morgan Freeman

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Jan 312010
Authors: Laura James

It has to be said that Clint Eastwood has never made a bad film. His latest project, “Invictus” is right up there in directorial quality with other Eastwood films like “Million Dollar Baby” and “Mystic River,” despite having a very different effect on the viewer.

“Invictus” follows the early political career of Nelson Mandela after his release from the Victor Verster prison in 1990 and his eventual election to the South African presidency in 1994.

During his first term, Mandela sought to heal post-apartheid South Africa in several ways, but most intriguingly, he used rugby to unite the people.

The movie reveals how separated post-apartheid citizens of South Africa really were. Blacks preferred soccer to rugby, citing that rugby and their rugby team the South Africa’s Springboks were symbols of apartheid. Whites preferred rugby to soccer, citing their heritage and tradition.

When the time comes for the democratically elected government officials to decide whether or not to change the Springboks logo, Mandela makes the unpopular decision to oppose the change in favor of supporting the Springboks while they compete for the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

As the movie progresses, it’s impossible not to be stunned by Morgan Freeman’s performance as Nelson Mandela. He is pitch perfect. Freeman portrays the cadence, tone and demeanor of Mandela with excellence.

As the Springboks advance toward the World Cup so does the support the South African people, both blacks and whites. Even Mandela’s black secret service guards start to become friends with the white guards over their new enthusiasm for rugby.

Overall, the movie sings as a testament to the political and humanitarian genius of Nelson Mandela. But as a sports film, it probably has a bit too much dialogue to keep the hardcore sports film fans entertained. Rent it.
Movie reviewer Laura James can be reached at verve@collegian.com_.

 Posted by at 2:46 pm

Bernanke’s reconfirmation will sink our economic ship

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Jan 312010
Authors: Ian Bezek

President Obama and the U.S. Senate have made a terrible decision in reconfirming Fed Chairmen Benjamin Bernanke.

Like a host of a bad keg party, Bernanke has been a direct catalyst in creating our economic troubles, and now we are looking to him to help clean up the mess. But just as a case of whiskey can’t cure alcoholism, Bernanke’s solutions just don’t work.

Whenever presented with an economic problem, Bernanke’s solution has been more credit. After the 9/11 attacks, Bernanke supported former Fed Chairmen Greenspan’s harebrained idea of cutting interest rates to nearly zero in hopes of creating an economic recovery.

What we got then was the “jobless recovery” under President Bush, where, through a combination of budget-crippling tax cuts and inflation, we got minor economic growth without increasing the actual wages or standard of living of average Americans.

This false pseudo-recovery collapsed under the weight of its own structural failings, a recovery built on the combination of easy credit and handouts to the upper class was obviously not going to last long.

By this time, in 2007, when things started to fall apart, Bernanke had been appointed, and was proudly carrying on Greenspan’s legacy of asking banks to loan to anyone with a pulse.

Bernanke’s policies led to the economic tremors of the past couple years, as he himself admitted to Jim Lehrer, when he said, “It’s true to some extent that this crisis was caused by too much credit, credit that was too risky, too easy. That’s all true.” Well, we’ve figured out that too much credit is a problem. So what’s Bernanke’s plan for fixing the economy now?

In the same interview, Bernanke said, “if you have a small business and you’ve tried to get a loan, you know that credit is very, very tight right now … The Federal Reserve has been working hard on this in a lot of ways.”

Bernanke went on to explain how the Federal Reserve has cut interest rates to zero, is encouraging banks to lend more and has helped to finance new home and auto loans.

So, let me get this straight, mister Stanford professor and supposed economic uber-genius: You’re proposing that we fix the economic mess caused by “too much credit, credit that was too risky, too easy,” by, um, extending more credit? Are you the worst historian ever, or you deliberately sabotaging our economy?

Like the host who keeps offering more beer and pouring more shots after his guests are obviously wasted, Bernanke feels that he must keep dousing our economy with more credit. If you thought our economic party was ugly now, just wait until these new “stimulus” shots pass through our system; there will be unconscious people strewn across the floor and vomit spewed all over the bathroom.

A large minority of the Senate realized the tragic error in reappointing this economic blowhard to one of the most powerful non-elected offices in America.

Sen. Bunning (R-KY) said that, “If the Senate confirmed Mr. Bernanke, it would be like rewarding the captain of the Titanic for piloting the ship into an iceberg, not for getting everyone off safely.” Even if Mr. Bernanke is responsible for fixing the economy, which in due time we’ll see he hasn’t, he still shouldn’t have wrecked the economy with cheap credit in the first place.

You know something’s wrong when you see the following in the New York Times, which reported, “Senators from opposite ends of the spectrum formed unlikely alliances. After (Senator Bernie) Sanders (I-VT), who calls himself a socialist, finished denouncing Mr. Bernanke, Jeff Sessions, a conservative Republican from Alabama, rose to do the same.”

It’s quite obvious that thinking people of all stripes reject the continuation of Bernanke’s terrible economic rein. It’s a shame that the cowardly politicians of the mediocre middle were unwilling to offer Americans real change in this most important of areas.

It almost seems as if the Democrats want to get crushed in the upcoming 2010 elections. By reconfirming one of President Bush’s worst appointees – think Donald Rumsfeld bad – the Democrats are showing their rhetoric of “hope and change” to be a bald-faced lie. Now, Obama will be standing on the deck of our Titanic when Captain Bernanke unflinchingly leads us into another iceberg.
Editorials Editor Ian Bezek is a senior economics major. His column appears Mondays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com_.

 Posted by at 2:39 pm

Polar bears get cold feet

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Jan 312010
Authors: Collegian Editorial Board

As long as there have been icy oceans and frozen lakes, we have seen our nation’s finest men and women turn out for an event as ancient and esteemed as nude wrestling: the polar bear plunge.

For those unfamiliar with the sport, participants in the polar bear plunge strip to their skivvies each winter and test their fortitude against frostbite, hypothermia and shrinkage by jumping into the coldest body of water available.

It’s an activity born of the same noble mentality as fire walking or crushing a beer can against your forehead. Since prehistoric times, it has allowed those of us lacking any athletic or intellectual prowess to bask in the sweet warmth of undeserved applause.

But, like most proud traditions (like nude wrestling), the polar bear swim is being threatened by modern East Coast sissiness.
Saturday, in Annapolis, Md., the plunge was cut short for the first time in nearly two decades.

Why? Ice sharks? Actual polar bears? No such luck.
The event –– intended to raise money for the Maryland Special Olympics –– was canceled due to the cold.

Despite the fact that the water temperature was a full four degrees above freezing and the air a balmy 23 degrees Fahrenheit, doctors supervising the event told thousands of would-be swimmers to turn tail and go back to the comforts of their heated cars and homes.

These days, it seems, all it takes is a few dozen cases of hypothermia (doctor-speak for the “chilly-willys”) to stop everyone’s party.

 Posted by at 2:35 pm

CBS’s ‘super’ business plan favors Religious Right

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Jan 312010
Authors: Kevin Hollinshead

Super Bowl Sunday was once considered a holy day in this country, purely a celebration of football, funny commercials and obscenely huge piles of chicken wings. You certainly never let hot-button politics pervade the sanctity of the gridiron.

CBS, however, is now directly involved with an unprecedented politicization of the game.

The network recently decided to air an anti-abortion commercial from the evangelical political organization Focus on the Family during this Sunday’s broadcast. The ad will reportedly feature Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother discussing how her “personal faith” convinced her to carry her son to term while she and her husband were missionaries in the Philippines, despite medical advice to terminate the pregnancy.

By accepting the ad, CBS reversed its long-standing policy against running any ad that “touches on and/or takes a position on one side of a current controversial issue” on the network, particularly during sporting events. In 2004, they famously rejected a commercial from the United Church of Christ, citing this policy.

The UCC ad’s “controversial” tagline was “Jesus didn’t turn people away. Neither do we,” a sentiment, last I heard, supported by every Gospel of the New Testament.

The reported tagline of the Focus on the Family ad is “Celebrate family, celebrate life,” which is a coded, divisive rallying cry of the rabid anti-choice movement.
In the face of criticism from the UCC, The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and a coalition of women’s groups, CBS has been dismissive in its responses. Several statements have tried to explain that this decision somehow reflects a more modern, forward-thinking approach toward advocacy ads from CBS.

Given the state of today’s economy and abortion’s status as the single-most polarizing social issue in American politics, it’s naïve of the network to expect anyone to believe that. It clearly comes down to the $2.7 million CBS gets paid to run each 30-second Super Bowl ad. Yet, not even that explains the newest wrinkle in this controversy.

On Friday, CBS rejected a silly commercial from the gay dating site, which features two men who suddenly start making out while celebrating a touchdown on TV. The stupid commercials with Danica Patrick are more inappropriate in terms of sexual content, yet they’ll surely continue their run during Super Bowls. will no doubt benefit from this attention, but this contradiction of business ethics is troubling nonetheless. CBS seems willing to alienate and offend people for sake of their bottom line, but only certain groups.

CBS is apparently OK with irritating the pro-choice community, but they are unwilling to let the homophobic Religious Right see two men kiss.

Focus on the Family may even be leading CBS into even hotter water. Prominent attorney Gloria Allred has questioned Mrs. Tebow’s claim that Filipino doctors advised her to terminate her pregnancy.

Abortion has been illegal in the Philippines since 1930 and is punishable by six-year prison sentences for both the doctor and the mother. Given this, it doesn’t make sense that doctors would have actually advised an abortion, so Allred has announced that she’ll file a complaint with the FTC and the FCC if the ad neglects those facts.

CBS’s actions imply that they either have a financial stake in specifically courting the Religious Right or that they’re simply afraid of their wrath. If this were purely about generating revenue and hype, the ad would have been accepted along with Focus on the Family’s.

Typical football fans made uncomfortable by two men kissing likely outnumber those annoyed by anti-choice zealots or Tebow Mania, so CBS is picking commercials accordingly. Yet, even more people will decry any intertwining of politics and football. It just makes you wonder why CBS even put itself in this mess in the first place.

Kevin Hollinshead is a junior political science major. His column appears Mondays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to

 Posted by at 2:32 pm

Colorado State women’s basketball loses another road game

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Jan 312010
Authors: Kyle Grabowski

On Saturday, the SDSU Aztecs defeated the CSU’s women’s basketball team 59-38 at Viejas Arena in San Diego. The loss was the Rams’ second on their five-day road trip, losing by more than 20 points in each contest.

CSU trailed 29-25 with 14:01 remaining in the second half, but an 11-0 run put the game out of reach. The Rams committed a season-high 35 turnovers, which led to 30 points for the Aztecs.

“Really ugly game, a lot of turnovers for us,” said CSU head coach Kristen Holt. “They played sloppy, but we were worse.”

SDSU turned the ball over 33 times, but CSU could not capitalize, turning those Aztec mistakes into only 17 points.

Sophomore Kim Mestdagh continued her six-game double-figures streak, scoring 11 points to lead the team. But it was SDSU’s all-conference guard Jene Morris who stole the show, pouring in 19 points for the Aztecs and collected three steals.

Chatilla van Grinsven’s run of consecutive 20-point games came to an end as she only managed to score nine points, but she did connect on five of six free throws.

The Rams were able to keep up with SDSU for most of the first half and the early part of the second, trailing by only five at halftime. CSU never led in the game; they tied the Aztecs at 15 with 4:05 remaining in the first half and at two in the contest’s opening moments.

The 38 points was the team’s lowest of Coach Holt’s tenure and the least they had scored since a 68-28 downfall against Utah in 2008.

CSU shot 27 percent on the evening, their lowest percentage since shooting 23.3 percent at home in a win against South Dakota.

Women’s Basketball beat reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at

 Posted by at 1:56 pm

The Weekly Blitz – CSU recruiting offensive weapons

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Jan 312010
Authors: Matt L. Stephens

The Pro Bowl. The Super Bowl. The Olympic Games. These are the major sporting events occupying most of the sports headlines across the country, but next to National Signing Day, they all pale in comparison.

What is National Signing Day, you naively ask? It’s the first day high school seniors across the United States who hold scholarship offers to play football at NCAA schools have an opportunity to sign their Letters of Intent.

I see it as Christmas, my birthday along with the temporarily donated seven days of Hanukkah from my Jewish friends, all wrapped up into what is, by far, the best day of the year.

As a recruiting analyst for a partner site, I have the great opportunity to scout, evaluate and get to know a lot of football recruits across the country year after year, which is part of the reason why I love National Signing Day so deeply. But this year is special because of what we’re seeing in our own backyard here in Fort Collins –– it’s a recruiting revolution.

For a moment, disregard the 3-9 record the Colorado State football team had in 2009. Somehow, Steve Fairchild and company have been able to gather what is, on paper, the best recruiting class in CSU Rams history. For you fans out there, this just goes to show how much believe these players have in the direction Fairchild will take CSU in the next two to three years.

Without further adieu, I’d like to start looking at some of the top offensive prospects the Rams have committed right now and take a further look at how they could benefit the program.


I have to start with the obvious one here, Pete Thomas. The 6-foot-5, 220 pound gunslinger is the first four-star recruiting CSU has landed out of high school since fullback Tristan Walker in 2002. As a senior in 2009, he passed for nearly 2,400 yards and 26 touchdowns.

A big complaint some folks have of Thomas is that he doesn’t move a lot and just looks like stone sitting in the pocket. I don’t see it. If you look closely, while he doesn’t do a lot of “bobbing” with his body like most QB’s do to stay in rhythm, he very quickly shuffles his feet, allowing him to take off if needed at a moment’s notice –– it’s just his personal style.

Thomas is already on campus at CSU and will be participating in spring practice, trying to compete for a starting job as a true freshman in 2010. We’ll see how long it takes him to learn the system, but he has an excellent chance to be under center when the Rams kickoff at INVESCO Field in September.

Wide Receivers

The main two guys to watch out for are James Boone and Josh “Jay” James.

As for Boone, he’s a player that might not end up signing with CSU as Mississippi State is making a late push, though they are yet to offer. Still, he’s definitely a kid Ram fans want to see in Green and Gold as he has 4.45 speed and had over 1,000 receiving yards last season. Plus, I personally like his story as he lived in a not-so-great New York neighborhood before moving to Florida in eighth grade on his way to become a football star.

James is more of a prototypical wide receiver and better size if he were to play in the slot at 6-foot-3, 221 pounds with 4.46 speed. He’s the younger brother of current CSU defensive end C.J. James.

Tight Ends

Maybe it’s just because I love the tight end position almost as much as running back (us Oklahomans love the hardnosed guys), but Crockett Gillmore and Kivon Cartwright are two of my favorite recruits in this class.

Cartwright is going to be that guy everyone hopes is the next Kory Sperry. Why? Because he’s from Pueblo! He missed most of his senior year with an injury to his patella, but told me he’s back at 100 percent. He’s a receiver-style tight end and has been called by some high school coaches across the state as Colorado’s best-kept secret.

Gillmore is the more physical of the two tight ends in the class. A three-star prospect, he’s 6-foot-6, 226 pounds and played wide receiver for his Bushland, Texas high school’s spread offense last year where he had 1,142 yards and 22 touchdowns on only 43 receptions. He does like to block, however, and the last time I talked to him two weeks ago he said he was 18-0 as a wrestler this season in Texas’s 215 weight class.

With National Signing Day on Wednesday, I’ll finish my two-part recruiting column next Monday looking at the defense along with any last-minute surprises that may comes CSU’s way.

Sports Editor Matt L. Stephens is a recruiting analyst for of the Network. He can be reached at

 Posted by at 1:49 pm

Moby left without its magic

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Jan 312010
Authors: Adam Bohlmeyer

The CSU Rams found out the hard way that it’s hard to win when you have more turnovers than made baskets.

The Rams (12-9, 3-4 MWC) fell to the San Diego State Aztecs (15-6, 4-3 MWC) 64-52 in front of a Moby Arena crowd of 3,800 and committed 19 turnovers in the process. CSU went only 18-49 from the field in the loss.

After getting off to a sloppy and slow start, the Rams tightened the game up late in the first half, going into half time down 32-24.

That’s as close as CSU would get though, as the Aztecs went on a 9-3 run to start the second half and cruised to victory from there.

Rams forward Travis Franklin explained that CSU couldn’t execute to start the second half and it cost them.

“At half, we preached to get out to a great start and into the mix the first five minutes,” the junior said. “We failed to do that so they had a lot of momentum beginning the second half.”

The Aztecs were aided in the win by Kawhi Leonard, who had 14 points and 12 rebounds in the win. Leonard, a freshman, had a double-double in points and rebounds before the conclusion of the first half.

Forward Andy Ogide had 13 points and three rebounds for CSU in the loss. Franklin added 10 points and seven rebounds. Ogide and Franklin were the only Rams to reach double figures in scoring.

Head coach Tim Miles said that the 19 turnovers “are so disappointing” and blamed them partly on the Rams lack of depth in the back court.

“I know we are short on guard play,” he said. “This year there is nothing we are going to do, we are short on guards. There are nights we are going to lack outside shooting, but the ball handling part disturbs me. It just frustrates me so much.”

SDSU established their dominance over the Rams from the get go, grabbing four offensive rebounds in the first two minutes of play. The trend would continue throughout the contest as the Aztecs out-rebounded the Rams 40-33 by game’s end.

Ogide said it was difficult to get back in the game after being physically outmatched to start.

“For them to come out the first couple possessions and get four offensive rebounds was sort of demoralizing,” the junior said. “It was tough to bounce back from that.”

Miles gave credit to SDSU for being the better rebounding team and said there’s not much a team can do to change that.

“They attack you inside, and they have long athletic guys that really make it a problem to rebound the ball,” Miles said. “That’s just a problem you’re going to have against SDSU.”

With the loss, the Rams have now dropped three of their last four conference games, including two of three at Moby Arena. Luckily for CSU, two of the next three games come against the conference’s two worst teams.
CSU is set to head west for a showdown with the Utah Utes on Wednesday in Salt Lake City.

Ogide said the loss to SDSU is a tough one to swallow, and added a win really would have helped momentum heading into a road trip.

“Win a game like this and it gives us great momentum going into Utah and Wyoming and Air Force, teams we need to sweep,” he said. “It’s tough to let this one go, but we have to put it behind us and go get these next couple games.”

Assistant Sports Editor Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at

 Posted by at 1:47 pm

Rams swim laps around UNLV

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Jan 312010
Authors: David de Besche

The CSU swimming team added yet another win to its record, hosting the Rebels of UNLV at Moby Pool, ending the meet at 185-115. This late season win improved the CSU to 8-1 overall and kept them near the top of the MWC, trailing only BYU.

The Rams had an all around team effort Saturday, taking first place in 12 of the 16 events. Three of the 12 first place finishes notched new season bests, and with the conference championship meet just around the corner, the Rams could not have asked for better timing.

“I was really happy to break the 24 second mark. It was a really big step to break and now I want to keep it going,” junior Sam Dole said on setting a season-best time of 23.92 seconds in the 50 Freestyle.

Senior Kathleen McCleary also set a season best in the 1,000 Freestyle at 10:24.17, while Nicole Lynch added in the 200 Breaststroke with a time of 2:22.16.

Saturday was also Senior Day for CSU with friends and family filling the stands to honor the nine seniors. The entire team wanted to commemorate the seniors and did so with their actions in the water.

“We (underclassmen) really wanted to come together and win for the seniors, we really wanted to have great energy,” Dole said. “There were tons of fans supporting all of us, making a really great atmosphere.”

This Senior Day was extra special with the win, capping an undefeated season at Moby Pool for the nine seniors to end their year, where they wanted to rise to the occasion of the day.

“Senior Day is really special. I just really wanted to swim my heart out with so many people here, and I feel I did,” McCleary said of her season-best performance Saturday. “And it was awesome to go undefeated here this season, the best way to go out.”

Saturday was an interesting situation for both teams who were missing the divers of their teams. The divers of each team were competing in the Air Force Academy Invite on Saturday. Since both team’s divers were competing at the same meet, their events were counted towards the dual in Fort Collins.

Sophomore Shayna Soloman took first place in the Three-Meter Diving adding to the team’s total and making the Rams’ presence felt at the invitational.

This win keeps CSU on track for what looks to be a very exciting last leg of the season with the MWC Championships in late February and the Border War with Wyoming this Friday in Laramie.

Though the Ram’s are looking good for the conference meet, they know that whenever competing against a rival, it’s going to be big.

“We are going to have our hands full, Wyoming really wants to beat us, and we really want to beat them. It’s going to be neck and neck, they have great girls there.” McCleary said.

Swimming and Diving Beat Reporter David de Besche can be reached at

 Posted by at 1:37 pm

We could be worse off, CSU

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Jan 282010
Authors: Collegian Editorial Board

As if the string of state cuts announced in the last year haven’t been enough to ruin a day, CSU announced Wednesday that in-state, undergraduate students likely face a 9 percent increase in tuition –– $434 per year –– to attend next year.

Non-resident, undergraduate students will likely pay about 3 percent, or $622 more annually.

A part of the university’s preliminary budget for fiscal year 2011, this hike follows on the heels of a 9 percent increase that affected what students are paying this year.

Essentially, CSU –– Colorado higher education in general –– is in dire straights in terms of funding. And though university administration is looking for alternative funding sources and raising millions through capital fundraising, students, once again, have been called upon to absorb a part of the overall financial blows.

But even though it’s clear that no one, let alone students, has an extra few hundred dollars to dish out, it’s also important to recognize that CSU is not struggling as much as some.

According to a CSU System Board of Governor’s report that compared 2009 tuition costs between CSU and its peer institutions, CSU tuition per semester, on average, came in at about $4,424. Of the 14 institutions compared in the report, 10 had higher tuition costs than CSU:

University of California-Davis: $9,496
Purdue University: $7,317
Washington State University: $6,720
Virginia Tech: $6,322
Auburn University: $5,880
Iowa State University: $5,524
University of Tennessee: $5,448
Mississippi State University: $5,151
Kansas State University: $4,764
Texas A&M University: $4,598.

So with that in mind, thank your administration for keeping costs lower than our peers. At least for that, we can be thankful.

 Posted by at 5:28 pm