The Michigan Student Assembly presented a resolution last night that aims to gauge students’ opinions of tuition and understand how different tuition rates would affect them.
The resolution calls for a survey to be sent in MSA’s next campus-wide e-mail to the student body, the results of which will be presented to the Michigan House Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education. It was authored by LSA Reps. Timothy Bekkers and John Oltean and Business Rep. Alex Serwer.
The confidential survey, which asks questions about access to higher education in the state of Michigan, can be found at tinyurl.com/stopthehike. The University’s current students and recent graduates are encouraged to take the survey.
The survey asks questions like how important tuition is to individuals and how current financial situations will impact individual future education plans. It also asks for opinions about whether tuition should increase, decrease or stay about the same.
Oltean said acquiring survey results will help encourage students to become more involved in protesting tuition hikes.
“I think having this information and having a broader range of students working on it, we can get kind of a student movement going for a tuition freeze at the grassroots level,” he said. “I think that will make a big difference.”
The survey results will also help make the University more aware of how big of a concern tuition is for the student body, Oltean said.
“We want to get people fired up about this issue and we want to get people out there letting the University know that they care about this issue and that it’s important to them,” he said.
The resolution also expressed support for Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s proposed tuition freeze, though only if the state’s funding of public universities remains constant for the upcoming academic year. Restrictions in the federal stimulus bill recently passed by Congress require the state to maintain 2008 funding levels in order to receive stimulus money.
Bekkers said he thinks keeping tuition affordable is an integral part of maintaining a diverse atmosphere at the University.
“I think a tuition freeze or at least looking into making college more affordable is absolutely necessary to maintaining this diverse community at the school and making sure that education is actually attainable,” he said.
This resolution is scheduled to be voted on at next week’s MSA meeting.
— Sarah Zawacki contributed to this story.