GSB set to fight tuition

Doug Stevens

Although it’s only a few days into the school year, ISU student leaders already have started to deal with issues that will affect ISU students this year. Under the leadership of President Ben Golding and Vice President Lisa Dlouhy, the Government of the Student Body represents ISU students at the university and state levels. At the forefront of issues GSB will be tackling this semester are the likely tuition hikes that the state Board of Regents will vote on later this fall. Andy Tofilon, co-director of Inter-governmental Affairs, said GSB leaders expect a double-digit percentage increase in tuition to compensate for shortfalls in the budget last spring. Every department at Iowa State has had to make cutbacks while class sizes continue to grow, Tofilon said. The added tuition money would go toward increasing the quality of education for ISU students. “We just want to see that number dropped dramatically,” Tofilon said. “We think that a jump like that will be too much for a lot of people, and we don’t feel that Iowa State students need to pay that much.” The student governments of all three regent universities – Iowa State, the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa – will lobby the Board of Regents with a proposal for a 7 percent increase in tuition spread over several years to soften the blow. Many speculate the regents propose a 10 percent to 12 percent increase, which would raise tuition about $300 per year for in-state students and $900 per year for out-of-state students. Director of Student Fees Alex Olson said GSB will probably be consumed in financial discussion for much of the fall semester. “We are pretty much on hold as a legislative branch on the tuition issue,” said Olson, who is also an off-campus senator. “Individual senators, like myself, have been and will be helping GSB President Ben Golding with his proposal to the Board of Regents.” The proposal to separate student fees from tuition also should generate some discussion, Olson said. The regents approved the separation of student fees for the University of Iowa last year, and Iowa State is expected to follow suit.