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UNF Spinnaker

Students voice opinions on budget at Tallahassee rally

When 24 UNF students went to Tallahassee March 4, they wanted to make their voices heard on the budget issues facing the Florida higher education system.

The “Rally in Tally” was organized by the Florida Student Association, which is comprised of 11 student body presidents from every public university in Florida. FSA was trying to present itself as a united front on issues related to the students on the steps of the state Capitol, said University of South Florida Student Body President Greg Morgan.

The key issue on the agenda was the current bill by state legislature that would allow each university’s board of trustees determine how much to raise tuition – up to 15 percent for the next several years until it reaches the national average, which is more than $6,000.

“The tuition increase is likely to happen, but is not meant to replace the gaps in funding, rather to enhance education,” Morgan said.

The additional tuition would not be covered by Bright Futures or the Florida Prepaid tuition plan, although students who established them before July 1, 2007 would be exempt from paying the additional amount imposed by schools.

The bill mandates that 70 percent of the revenue generated from the increase go toward undergraduate education and decreasing the student–faculty ratio, increasing salaries for faculty members and increasing courses offered. The remaining 30 percent would go toward need-based financial aid.

“You have to pay for what you want,” said Sean  Terwillger, Florida Gulf Coast student body president. “If you want to see an improved quality of education, then part of the cost is on the students.”

E-mail Matt Head at [email protected].

“I don’t feel the hike is justified because of the condition of our nation’s economy.”
– Sitou Byll-Cataria

“We understand tuition has to go up but favor a 5 to 7 percent increase rather than a 15 percent increase.”
– John Barnes

“Students currently get a great bargain, but the plan is to get enough resources to provide enough classes for students and have enough faculty to teach those classes. The state budget might drop as much as $8 billion dollars, which could mean a third of UNF’s budget getting cut.”
– UNF President John Delaney

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