Penn State Welcomes PASS Schools Amid Grim Outlook
This weekend, members of student government from the University of Pittsburgh, as well as Temple and Lincoln universities will descend on State College, and enjoy free lodging, courtesy of the University Park Undergraduate Association, at the posh Days Inn. On Saturday, the three universities’ representatives will present at this Council Weekend of the Council of Commonwealth Student Governments.
The union of those three with Penn State, PASS, short for the Pennsylvania Association of State-Related Students, was conceived at Temple on December 19 at a meeting between the four schools’ representatives. The coalition intends to tackle issues that affect state-related university students statewide, namely tuition and state appropriations.
However, PASS is fighting an uphill battle. Not only has Harrisburg been slowly pulling the plug on supporting Penn State and other public colleges and universities, but the big Republican swing this past November completely stacks the deck against us. It borders on impossible that Tom Corbett and the Pennsylvania legislature should decide not to decrease these state appropriations. Oh hey there, tuition hike.
Yes, PASS is a unified student voice for public university students in Pennsylvania, which is infinitely better than the big nada we had before. But as of now they’re just starting and have no clout to speak of. So while they certainly have the potential to be a major force in keeping tuition as is or even lowering it, they’re going to have a lot of work to do in the face of a state legislature that is hell-bent on cutting taxes and spending.
It’s a valiant effort and one worth undertaking, but in all likelihood, PASS will be going up against a stone wall.