GSB talks tuition proposal for Board of Regents

Hillary Kletscher, President of GSB speaks about a possible tuition freeze for Iowa State students at the GSB meeting on Nov. 12. GSB will discuss the issue more in a future meeting as well.

Makayla Tendall

A proposal to waive the second reading of a GSB recommendation to the Board of Regents about the tuition freeze was highly debated at Wednesday’s meeting.

Though the proposal of waiving the second reading was not passed, Gabe Walsh, speaker of the Senate and cosponsor of the resolution, asked senators to waive the second reading that would bring the resolution up for discussion at next week’s meeting so that the recommendation would appear on the Board of Regent’s public forum packet for December’s board meeting.

The regents will discuss a possible tuition freeze during December’s meeting.

Other cosponsors of the resolution, Hillary Kletscher, president of GSB, and Dan Breitbarth, vice speaker of the Senate, also advocated to waive the second reading because they felt waiting another week would mean the recommendation would not be given to the board in enough time for the resolution to appear on the public forum packet.

“That’s a very strong statement because people can see that’s on the board packet,” Kletscher said. “Talking about the cost of education on behalf of the student body, working on a resolution that says this is what we support as a student body is very important.”

The resolution stated that the GSB believes “if tuition for non-residents would increase, it should not exceed 1.2 percent [increase] in order to allow for financial planning” so students could budget for higher tuition.

The resolution also stated that GSB would ask the board to consider that long-term planning be implemented instead of planning for tuition increases or freezes on a year-by-year bases so families can plan.

The last point was that performance-based funding, which would fund Regent schools more based on the higher number of in-state schools, should be implemented so “state funding follows Iowans and promotes affordability and accessibility.”

“The power of having a resolution in [the packet], instantly, what we say has a much larger scale than what we say instead of sending the people in the resolution,” Kletscher said.   

Some senators, including Khayree Fitten, said the senate had not had enough time to ask constituents how they believe the GSB should represent them on the matter of tuition freeze. Fitten also said that since there were only 27 senators in attendance at the meeting, there were not enough to have a fair discussion.

“Not only do we not have a full representation of our members, none of you have gotten the opportunity to go back to your constituents and ask ‘Is it okay that out-of-state students continue to bear the burden of keeping the quality of Iowa state faculty and entire campus okay, [or continue] to cut tuition for in-state sudents?’”

Fitten also said he believes that the board proposed tuition increase for next year will only increase tuition by $150.

After the senate voted not to approve the waive, Kletscher moved to hold a special senate session at the end of the meeting to give senators more information. Breitbarth found bylaw that stated a 48-hour written notice must pre-empt such a meeting. 

The resolution will be discussed at next week’s GSB meeting.