UPUA To Host Tuition “Crisis Center”
In light of Governor Corbett’s proposed budget cuts, the University Park Undergraduate Association’s Steering Committee met last night to respond as an undergraduate student government, since the General Assembly doesn’t meet this week. Chair of the Assembly Jessica Pelliciotta remarked to the committee, which oversees all other UPUA committees, that students were already upset by the delay in its response.
The committee planned to reserve a room in the HUB, and perhaps other locations, to field questions about tuition in the Corbett era. It was also working on setting up a hotline that students could call with their questions if they couldn’t make it to the HUB during the office hours of ASTAC (Answering Student Tuition and Appropriation Concerns), a sort of “tuition crisis center,” said Off-Campus Representative T.J. Bard. UPUA representatives will take questions from students, and then have them answered by administrators who know the topic well.
“This is our job as a student government,” said Bard, referring to taking action in response to the proposed cuts. The committee agreed that there was no time to have any action legislated in an Assembly meeting since they won’t meet again until next week.
In addition to getting in touch with the real student base, something that hasn’t been UPUA’s strong suit to this point, the Steering Committee also discussed fighting the appropriations cuts as a university.
Bard said that over spring break he talked to President Spanier, who stressed student unification on the issue. According Spanier, through Bard, students must get behind the cause in order for Harrisburg to really get the message.
It’s pretty hard to rally the student body behind anything other than football, THON, or drinking. So while I really hope that the UPUA can stir up the same enthusiasm Penn State is capable of for those things, I’m skeptical of how feasible that is. It certainly can be done, and if the UPUA goes through the right channels to get people excited about this, the results could be very good. But still, with the fiscal conservatism swing of November 2010, it’ll be quite a challenge.