ASUO torn between decision to increase tuition or make further staff cuts
The current and incoming ASUO slates don’t agree with each other on the 10.6 percent tuition increase recommended by President Michael Schill.
Current ASUO President Quinn Haaga and Vice President Natalie Fisher travelled separately from other University of Oregon students to Salem on Thursday for the vote on whether tuition will increase 10.6 percent for in-state students.
Haaga and Fisher were both in favor of the 10.6 percent increase, which failed to receive enough votes yesterday. The state committee citied a need to minimize the university’s cuts. Some protestors at the meeting responded by saying, “shame” after Fisher’s statement endorsing the increase.
But incoming ASUO External Vice President Vickie Gimm testified against the tuition raise during the Higher Education Coordinating Commission meeting. She advocated for low-income students and said Haaga and Fisher did not represent her.
“As puppets of the administration, the current student body representatives speaking in favor of the tuition increase are graduating seniors who should not be speaking on behalf of the students who will be affected by this decision,” Gimm said.
Gimm also said the tuition increase affects low-income students of color at UO, referencing Gov. Kate Brown’s letter to HECC that recommended the commission to decline any tuition increase over 5 percent.
Haaga and Fisher say the school will now face an even greater deficit than the $8.8 million deficit that the school planned to accompany the 10.6 percent tuition increase.
“What is so tragic is this was our best option,” Haaga said to the HECC. “We will be asking students to pay more for significantly less services next year.”
But with the denied tuition increase, Haaga fears the school will cut more faculty to make up for the loss in revenue.
Haaga and Fisher, during the ASUO campaigns last year, advocated for minimizing tuition increases. Fisher was quoted in a video from the Emerald saying, “One-hundred percent, we will fight to do everything we can that [the Board of Trustees] do not keep increasing our tuition.”
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