Editorial: Attend Board of Regent sessions, make feelings known


Noah Cary/Iowa State Daily

ISU president Steven Leath and Bruce Rastetter, president of the Board of Regents, applaud at the efficiency forum April 1, 2014.

Editorial Board

The Board of Regents hosted an open forum Sept. 4 for students, faculty and staff to come and express any concerns they might have with Iowa State. Not a single individual showed up at the public meeting.

The board is working alongside Deloitte Consulting to create an efficiency review, the likes of which has not been performed for the regent universities — Iowa State, University of Iowa and University of Northern Iowa — in 30 years. The rarity of the review alone should be enough to drive attendance numbers up for these meetings.

While there has been a tuition freeze for in-state students for the past few years, the out-of-state rates have been climbing consistently. Meanwhile, the money allocated to the universities via state funding has been progressively decreasing. Tuition rates and taxpayer dollars, which are used to support the universities, are heading in opposite directions.

At the time of the last efficiency review, a majority of the general education funding came from the state while student tuition made up less than a third of school funding. These two things have now switched. Students now carry the vast majority of the burden when it comes to funding state universities.

As a result, student debt is always an issue that is going to be prevalent for students. Tuition freezes for in-state students could change the way students that live in Iowa have to look at student debt. Iowa is ranked sixth in the nation in terms of having the highest student debt in the nation, said Bruce Rastetter in the regent meeting April 2. If the financial stability of our adult lives is on the line, every seat in the house should be full. However, in the September meeting, the room was nearly empty.

These meetings are crucial for members of the ISU community because they are able to give their complete feedback on where they think the university stands in terms of accommodation and overall living. If at all possible, it is a right, privilege and duty to attend these meetings to express concerns with the administrators who will be deciding the future of our university.

The never-ending discussion of over-enrollment is constantly being debated among friends and students on social media sites and in endless conversations with our neighbors in classes and at lunch. We can complain all we want, but until the students and faculty step up to actually take action in their worries, nothing will get done.

A topic at hand Sept. 9 and 10 will be the discussion of Iowa State’s compliance with the Clery Act. On June 17, an audit of the university showed Iowa State was not complying with the Clery Act, a law that explains how universities report crimes, including sexual assaults.

On Sept. 9 and 10, the Board of Regents will meet in Ames to discuss the enrollment at the three regent universities, a student innovation center, admission processes and many other topics.

We as students are responsible to take charge of our college experience. That can be hard to do when there are so few students attending the meetings. There are many different ways to express your interests or concerns with the Board of Regents. Attending the meeting, visiting the ISU efficiency homepage or sending your suggestions to [email protected] are just a few ways to make sure you are heard.

Be responsible for your college experience and attend the Board of Regents meetings.