Student Senate approves tuition cap

The University of Minnesota Student Senate passed a resolution Thursday that would cap a potential tuition increase at 5.5 percent. Student representatives will discuss the cap with the Board of Regents in a meeting next week. The resolution was passed by the Minnesota Student Association in October. âÄúItâÄôs going where we wanted it to go,âÄù resolution co-author Ryan Kennedy said. University coordinating campuses with student governments also passed the resolution. âÄúIn meetings with administrators on all of our campuses, weâÄôre going to be bringing it up and really pushing it hard,âÄù Kennedy said. During the 1995-96 school year, the University saw a tuition increase of 18.9 percent Tuition for the 2009-10 school year is set to increase by 4.5 percent, however a request for a $141 million increase in funding from the state Legislature is still pending. Student senator Mark Lewandowski said receiving the full amount and keeping the increase at 4.5 percent is unlikely. The state is facing a projected $5.2 billion deficit, announced Thursday. âÄúEvery year itâÄôs kind of a wait-and-see game to see how much money we get from the Legislature,âÄù Lewandowski said. âÄúI doubt that weâÄôll get everything that weâÄôre asking for.âÄù Student Senator Kris Schwebler said he thinks the resolution is a good start. âÄúStudents have had enough of tuition increases,âÄù he said. âÄúWe just need to say we donâÄôt want to see a 10 percent increase. If these keep going, weâÄôre not going to be able to afford school.âÄù Becky Hippert , executive assistant to the University Senate, said they hope to build on the tuition cap resolution and continue to work with the administration throughout the year. The University presidentâÄôs office will either send the resolution back to the Student Senate or take action, Hippert said. Student-release questions could become public The Student Senate also voted to allow student-release questions, which are a part of professor evaluations, to be posted on OneStop. The resolution would allow students to view responses given about courses and the professors who teach them. âÄúIt allows students to get a glimpse of the class theyâÄôre going to take before they actually start taking it,âÄù Kennedy said. Currently, professors must go through a sign-up process to allow the questions to be publicized and only about 50 University professors did so last spring, Kennedy said. âÄúStudents deserve to see that information, and we donâÄôt think that itâÄôs private data so you donâÄôt have the ability to not disclose it,âÄù Schwebler said.