Student Association leaders said they plan to hold a rally Monday to protest this year’s tuition increase, which is expected to be the smallest in a decade.
SA Executive Vice President Jesse Strauss is coordinating the rally to fight the annual tuition increase, which will be announced by the University’s Board of Trustees next week. Strauss said the theme of the rally is “$21,625 is too much.”
GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg has said publicly this year’s tuition increase will be the lowest in 11 years, but Strauss said students should not tolerate any amount of increase.
“The rumor is this year the increase is going to be low, but that is because of the market,” Strauss said. “I don’t think that’s a reason to celebrate. (That amount) is too much to pay, therefore any raise is not appreciated. We should be protesting every day of the year, but that’s not possible.”
But SA President Carrie Potter said it is unreasonable to think the University will not raise tuition at all.
“To rally against an increase in tuition altogether is unreasonable, but it is very reasonable to say it should be the lowest (increase) in the last 11 years,” Potter said.
Strauss said the rally will stress that tuition is already too high and that students are amassing too much debt attending GW. To illustrate this point, Strauss plans to have a GW student debt clock at the rally.
“We are currently working on calculating the average debt of students when they leave GW,” Strauss said. “Most students walk out with $30,000 in loans.”
Strauss said the rally is part of an overall plan to increase the SA’s involvement in the yearly budget process. He said student leaders also will meet with Trachtenberg and other administrators Wednesday to present the findings of the student budgetary priority survey, which makes recommendations about how students want their tuition spent.
Potter said the meeting Wednesday will allow student leaders to stress students’ priorities before the Board of Trustees meets next Friday to approve the proposed tuition increase.