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Tuition, fees, and hypocrisy

Published: Monday, February 25, 2002

Updated: Monday, January 18, 2010 09:01

The Carolinian recently reported (11 February) that tuition for UNCG students may rise by $400 because of state budget shortfalls. According to the report, the Chancellor “confirmed that a portion of the new tuition hike will go to staff and faculty pay, [but] she stressed that the largest percentage will be used to ease the financial burden of students.”

State budget shortfalls are out of the University’s control, so this tuition increase may be inevitable. But if the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees were genuinely interested in easing the financial burden of students they could do so immediately by cutting things that are under their own control, not state control. In particular, they could eliminate the financial obscenity of Division I athletics.

Every year, the UNCG administration extracts $3,000,000 directly from the pockets of students to prop up the Division I fiasco. Not only is Division I athletics at UNCG a financial disgrace, it has also destroyed neighborhoods, thrown elderly people out of their homes, polluted the environment, and alienated alumni and campus neighbors. When the Governor mandates budget cuts, athletics isn’t touched because it is the private plaything of the Board of Trustees. Academic programs could be eliminated, faculty and staff let go, but your $3,000,000 will always be collected to pay for Division I athletics. And yet the Chancellor says she is anxious to “ease the financial burden of students.” Can you say “hypocrisy”?

If you go home over Spring Break, ask your parents why you should be paying millions of dollars in athletic fees every year when tuition is going up and the state is cutting educational budgets. Better yet, why don’t you and your parents pick up the phone and ask your state senator or representative that question.

Dr. Robert J. O’Hara Department of Biology

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