Student Fee Hearings anything but 'pro-student'
Published: Wednesday, February 19, 2003
Updated: Monday, January 18, 2010 17:01
"Put the 'U' back in UConn! Come out to hear (and comment on) what your fees do for 'U!'" This is what an advertisement regarding Student Fee hearings that ran on Monday in The Daily Campus stated. What it should have said was, "If you would like to comment on where your fee money is spent, bring a pen, write it down and leave your opinion in a pile by the door."
The Daily Campus contacted Vicky Triponey, the vice chancellor for Student Affairs, to try to clear up some of the confusion. Unfortunately, what we found was extremely disappointing. The rumors are, in fact, true. Students are welcome and even encouraged to attend the Student Fee hearings, however, when it comes time to bring their comments to the floor, students will be shut out. Students will only be allowed to fill out a "comment card" with their thoughts. These cards will then be given to the members of the fee committee to review. Or, students have the option to bring their concerns or opinions to a committee member privately. Does that sound wrong to anyone else out there?
If student fee money is being discussed, then students should be the first group to have a voice. A written comment is a completely inadequate way for students to present their opinions. Who's to say "comment cards" will even be read? And if they are read at all, how many? Will each and every written statement be looked at or will they be quickly skimmed? Or, the more likely scenario, will they be piled up and left on the table: an option, but certainly not a priority. And how many students have access to members of the Student Fee Committee, realistically? An extremely small minority, no more.
That's right, despite what the advertisement that ran in the paper and the 'Letter to the Editor' from Student Trustee Chris Hattayer, said, students who attend the fee hearings this afternoon WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO SPEAK. This means, students will not be able to ask questions to the committee. So maybe what's important is not what the ad or Hattayer said, but what they failed to say.