WSU is forming an ASWSU Tuition Setting Committee that will shape the tuition policy of the 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years. A memorandum released Jan. 25 by President Elson S. Floyd announced the creation of the student committee.
In the memorandum Floyd said he would submit the committee’s tuition recommendation to the Board of Regents.
“This will be a two-year term and the culmination of the term will be to make a recommendation and it sounds like it will be a long, thought out process on what recommendation to make to the Board of Regents,” ASWSU Senate Pro-Tempore Derrick Skaug said.
Skaug and ASWSU President Riley Myklebust will each appoint two eligible students to this new committee.
“To clarify, the committee will be much bigger than four students,” Skaug said. “ASWSU has been given the honor to pick four themselves … the memorandum also gives academic deans the right to nominate students.”
Skaug said academic deans are able to nominate one individual student each. This will make a committee size of about 10 members, he said.
“This position will give students input on the rate of tuition set by the Board of Regents,” he said. “That means that the students will not be determining the rate but they will look at the facts and evidence that the administration also has to look at and the Board of Regents has to look at, and give their recommendation.”
This board will allow students to express their opinions on where they believe university cuts should be made and where tuition can be used to offset the budget cuts, Skaug said.
“Well first and foremost, as it’s been stated before, it’s a great opportunity and it’s probably one of the best ways that a student can become influential here on campus,” District 2 Sen. Taylor Hennessey said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for students to get involved, but when it comes down to it, no matter what the Board of Regents does, if our legislators keep cutting our funding tuition’s still going to go up no matter what this board recommends.”
A committee position will be a great learning experience for students who are passionate about WSU and are concerned about what their tuition goes toward, Hennessey said.
“What’s nice about tuition is everyone pays it, it’s universal,” Myklebust said. “I don’t necessarily know that involvement in one group or another is going to be a huge factor in this position. I think it will be more the student’s eagerness to get involved with the process.”
The goal of the four positions from the senate and the executive staff is to contribute diverse members to the committee so that all students may be represented, Myklebust said.
“I think it’s wonderful,” Skaug said. “President Floyd did not need to give myself or President Myklebust this honor but it really was a symbolic and real gesture showing that he wants students’ input on the decision he makes.”
The work of the committee will begin once all the students are appointed, Floyd said.
“Appointments to this committee will arguably become the most important made during my tenure as president,” Floyd said in the memorandum.
On Feb. 1, Skaug posted an application for the four ASWSU nominees. The application deadline is Feb. 13 for all students.
Skaug said he wants students with experiences out of the norm such as non-traditional and first-generation students for this position. However he encourages all students with an interest to apply, he said.
“For me, I like to pick well-rounded candidates who show interest and knowledge in what is happening at the university,” Skaug said. “Previous involvement is not necessarily required but it certainly helps.”