A resolution before the Students’ Association (SA) Senate aiming to increase the transparency of tuition hikes is exactly the kind of effort to hold the administration accountable the student body needs.
And it’s a welcome about-face from a government that often seems disinterested in giving its constituents that level of respect.
The resolution—sponsored by Senator Nick Foti, co-sponsored by Senators Gabriella Lipschitz, Andria Rabenold, Joshua Pachter, and Leif Johansen, and based on a vetoed version by former Senator Mira Bodek—charges SA Government to host a yearly town hall with the administration about its tuition increases.
It also calls on SA to record and distribute information from the events within two weeks.
The administration has said it is committed to transparency about its tuition bumps, which to the average student seem without any visible benefit, but it has done little to show students why their bills are rising. When prices go up, as they do every year, UR should at least have the courtesy to tell us why with a straight face.
The senators’ proposal, while mostly skin-deep, is an admirable attempt to see that happen, one that should be appreciated by all those frustrated with UR’s lip-service and tap-dancing. It suggests Senate can see beyond its bubble when it wants, too.
Senate should vote for it, and the executive branch should take it up.
If UR wants to improve its reputation among students—and on this topic it does not have a good one—it should both support the resolution, which was unfortunately tabled at last week’s Senate meeting, and work vigorously to implement it.
This school can probably pay the price of that bad rep, of shying away from such work. Students will continue to apply, enough will be willing to shoulder the price, and if international scholars (who receive no need-based aid) keep coming here, this school will not suffer financially from its endless markups and skirted questions.
But can administrators live with the human costs of that inaction?