Sep 082010
 
Authors: Jordyn Dahl

Student government passed a resolution Wednesday night urging students to vote no on three ballot initiatives that students, administrators and politicians alike believe have the potential to immediately privatize higher education.

The resolution’s author argued that Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101, all of which will be on the November ballot, will increase CSU’s tuition by $15,000 to $20,000 annually.

“They would completely rid higher education of all funding,” said Justin Safady, assistant director of Legislative Affairs for the Associated Students of CSU and resolution author. “In the next year or two, tuition will skyrocket extremely fast.”

The amendments would reduce property taxes and make it next to impossible for the government to obtain a loan, while the proposition would reduce vehicle taxes to $10 a vehicle, a rate that hasn’t been seen since 1919.

Using the general fund budget for 2010-2011 as an example, Colorado will spend $3.7 billion on human services and health care, jails and courts, higher education and departments other than K-12 education. If the three measures were implemented, however, for that same fiscal year, the state would have $38 million, according to the Bell Policy Center.

Under this model, K-12 would get approximately 99 percent of the state’s money, leaving 1 percent, or the $38 million, to fund the remaining departments.

While the majority of the ASCSU Senate argued in favor of the resolution, others vehemently opposed.

“This is a pretty foolish piece of legislation,” said Sen. Kevin Whitley, who believes that CSU will become privatized no matter what, whether in five or 10 years.

Chase Eckerdt, director of Community Affairs, agreed with the potential threat of privatization, saying, “If these don’t pass, we can still continue the fight for higher education.”

With the fast approaching election on Nov. 4, ASCSU put the resolution on emergency status, meaning that the senators had to decide their position that Wednesday night. The haste of the organization’s decision served to direct the attention of local and national politicians, including Gov. Bill Ritter, and CSU President Tony Frank and his administration, to the issue.
Cooper Anderson, president of ASCSU, actively endorsed the resolution and urged the senators to consider the student body when voting.

“These three measures would provide such a shock to the system,” Anderson said. “The shock would be catastrophic to students.”

ASCSU Beat Reporter Jordyn Dahl can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:22 pm

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