MSA passes tuition cap resolution

In the past 15 years, the University of Minnesota has experienced varying tuition rates, seeing increases of up to 18.9 percent in one year, but a new resolution put together by the Minnesota Student Association supports capping the increases at 5.5 percent. The resolution passed in TuesdayâÄôs MSA forum is in favor of instituting a cap of a 5.5 percent total increase that would expire in two years. Currently, tuition at the University is set to increase by 4.5 percent next year. A request for a $141 million increase in funding from the state Legislature is still pending. MSAâÄôs next move to put the resolution into place is to speak with University President Bob Bruininks, the Board of Regents and the president of student finance so they can present it to the state Legislature in the spring. âÄúThe idea behind the tuition cap is to tell the administration that we understand that thereâÄôs going to have to be a tuition increase,âÄù said resolution co-author Ryan Kennedy . âÄúBut we donâÄôt want it to get so out of control that weâÄôre facing the tuition increases that we did in 2002.âÄù Tuition in 2002 increased by 14.4 percent. Paul Buchel , an MSA at-large representative, said he got the idea after a previous MSA tuition committee resolution failed, combined with an editorial in The Minnesota Daily that noted MSAâÄôs shortcomings in making a difference for students. âÄúItâÄôs important that MSA rallies around the idea that tuition is a huge issue,âÄù Buchel, a sociology sophomore, said. The reasoning behind the two-year expiration date, Buchel said, is that University administration is more likely to accept a more flexible plan. The resolution states that âÄúdue to the recent economic collapse, tuition and the cost of education has become more threatening to students than ever before,âÄù and because of rising tuition costs, action was needed. MSA President Mark Nagel said he thought it was a great resolution. âÄúI think itâÄôs one of the more substantive resolutions that MSA has passed the entire time IâÄôve been here. It really goes to the heart of the most major student concern, which is tuition,âÄù Nagel said. While the resolution passed by a strong majority, it did see some opposition. MSA member Mikael Moseley said he was against the resolution because he didnâÄôt agree with the cap limit at 5.5 percent. âÄúIâÄôm afraid that if we adopt the policy âĦ they are going to look at other means for revenue. YouâÄôll probably see increases in all fees across every single college,âÄù Moseley said. Buchel said when heâÄôs filling out a résumé after college, he doesnâÄôt want to simply list that he was involved with student government, but rather show what he did during his time there. âÄúWeâÄôre going to provide our input and thatâÄôs about as much as we can do as a body,âÄù Kennedy said. âÄúWe will relay this information on to the administration and say, âÄòThe students have spoken and we donâÄôt want to see a tuition increase higher than six percent.âÄôâÄù