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As I See It

Students, not politicians, should decide if they pay higher fees




Lawmakers like to talk about local control. But their actions rarely match their words. In Madison, some state lawmakers are  pushing bills which would limit the ability of UW students to voluntarily pay more for a nicer campus. The legislation would  make it harder for schools in the UW system to hike the fees that students pay. Under the proposal, a majority of students, in two consecutive referenda, would have to agree to pay more in fees. And even if it does pass, the student fees could only be used to pay half of the cost of a building project. Why  should Madison lawmakers put on such restrictions? On the UWL campus, students in recent years have voted in referendums to hike the amount of fees they pay in order to build new campus buildings. Those students sure know better that the politicians what the needs of their campus are. And the needs of the UWL campus are different from those at UW Madison, so why adopt a one-size-fits-all approach?  The decision making power should belong to the student body. And the ongoing tuition freeze, and less state support, make it harder for universities to grow and improve without relying on fees. The control should remain right where it belongs, at the local level.

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    Mary Rykal

    August 7, 2019 at 9:38 am

    You really don’t have a clue how it works. I would agree with the student vote but only if it passed by a margin of better than 50 percent of the student body. Not like it currently is where a simple majority of votes cast wins. If 1000 students vote and 501 students vote in favor of the cost increase it passes, if their are 10000 students at UWL they should need to get at least 5001 votes to pass it.

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