Feb 272012
Authors: Eric Berlinberg

Every week, we seem to be hearing news on campus that shifts the paradigm of what it means to be a CSU Ram, and even what it means to be a student at a public higher education institution in the State of Colorado.

A proposed on-campus football stadium has been introduced by the director of Athletics and president of CSU, with those feasibility studies currently underway.

CSU recently completed their “Campaign for Colorado State,” in which more than $500 million in private funding was raised by 88,676 donors (51,189 were first-time donors). This has gone directly to academic programs in the form of more than 15,372 scholarships, 16 new faculty positions and more than 40 new or renovated buildings, all directly benefiting students.

This year, CSU received $94 million in funding from the State of Colorado, a reduction of $36 million during the past three years. We have also heard about an impending 9 percent tuition increase next year, as well as a 3 percent salary increase for faculty/staff on campus. What results is a probable 3 percent increase to student fees, on top of the proposed 9 percent increase in tuition, on the back of a recent 20 percent tuition increase from ’10-’11 to ’11-’12.

For some, the increased cost to attend CSU next year will mean the difference between staying in school and having to leave without a completed degree. We were created as “Colorado’s Public University,” and we must continue to stay that way.

If any of you are like me, your debt is running higher by the semester, and it has become increasingly difficult to pay bills, let alone eat anything for lunch besides PB & J –– or buy a pitcher with your funny, beautiful friends like Kaylyn and Regina.

I hear students saying “why…why?? Why a 20 percent increase here, another 9 percent there? Do we get to decide any of that?” Well, yes you do.

The Student Fee Review Board (SFRB) process allows students to have the deciding voice in setting the more than $867 per semester that use to we pay for things like the LSC, the Rec Center and athletics. This group meets weekly on Mondays at 4:00 pm in LSC Room 203-5.

As the Collegian editorial board said last week, “stand up for yourselves, CSU. And let our [representatives] know that every penny counts nowadays. Let them know what your real priorities are.” SFRB is an independent board that hears fee requests and scrutinizes every penny. I strongly encourage you to attend a SFRB meeting to share your opinion about the impending student fee increases coming.

Switching topics briefly… related to the proposed on-campus stadium, I want to hear what you think about the project in order to effectively represent you at the Stadium Advisory Committee, and with the Administration. Tell me what you think about the project. Last Friday, I sent a campus-wide email about the project and ASCSU’s involvement in student engagement.

This is only going to become a much larger effort on the part of ASCSU as the semester continues, and as the Stadium Advisory Committee (SAC) shares details of their proposal. The next SAC meeting is scheduled for March 29 at 7:00 p.m. Please email me your thoughts on the project so I can best represent you (ASCSU_Office@mail.colostate.edu).

We need you to become engaged in the budgeting process for student fees and tuition. What do you think about the proposed staff/faculty 3 percent salary increase? What effect does a 9 percent tuition increase have on you? Come share your personal opinion with us at our Senate sessions (Wednesdays, 6:30pm, LSC Senate Chambers), at the Student Fee Review Board (Mondays, 4:00 p.m., LSC 203-5), or shoot me an email (ASCSU_Office@mail.colostate.edu).

Eric Berlinberg is a senior business management major and ASCSU president.

 Posted by at 3:19 pm

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