Next week the Board of Trustees will be voting on the proposed tuition increase for next year. Traditionally, when voting, the Trustees have had no major access to student views on the tuition issue or budget priorities.
However, this year things will be different. The Student Association will host several members of the Board of Trustees this Wednesday at a town hall meeting for students. On February 11 at 9:00 p.m. in the Marvin Center Ballroom, we will have an unprecedented chance to effect how GW Trustees think and vote. Wednesday’s town hall will be a great opportunity for you to directly voice your concerns and make them count.
This year, students proved just how effective SA town hall meetings can be. By far, the most successful town hall dealt with the Commencement issue. When members of the Commencement Committee saw just how passionately more than 400 students felt about the future of Commencement, it was obvious what their decision had to be. The Student Association did its part to ensure students’ voices could be heard, and because students came out in big numbers, our input could not be ignored.
Students can apply pressure on the tuition issue as well. From day one of this school year, the SA has set the groundwork for student voices to be considered. For the first time ever, we surveyed students about their budget priorities and met with President Trachtenberg and the administration about how to incorporate student needs into GW’s budget.
Those efforts represented a large step along the road to progress. But now I am asking you to take the next big step and come voice your concerns about tuition and other matters at Wednesday’s town hall meeting.
Because students spoke out, Commencement remained on the Ellipse and graduation fees did not go up one cent. Likewise, tuition should not go up one cent without student needs being fully considered. The SA town hall this Wednesday at 9 p.m. in the Marvin Center Ballroom will be your most important opportunity to have your voice heard directly. Just imagine the impact students can have if we attend in full force.
-The writer is president of the Student Association.