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The Sentinel

An Eye on the Penn State Administration

Summertime and The Living’s Easy

Exams are beginning and the Collegian has stopped printing. Now, let the games begin. By now everyone is familiar with the football ticket fiasco. However, what most students do not realize is that the issue of football tickets is just the icing on a cake of problems. Sure, everyone cares about Football tickets because that affects their Saturdays in the fall. However, during the summer months many diabolical deeds will be unleashed by the administration.

While you’re relaxing on the couch watching reruns of I love Lucy, Team Spanier will be wreaking havoc on your pockets. Every year during the summer, tuition and the activity fee increase drastically. Instead of making these changes during the academic year, the administration waits until the summer to avoid situations like that of the football tickets.

This past summer, the Board of Trustees approved an increase for in state tuition of 5.6 percent. Again, on a sunny summer day in the summer of 2005, the Trustees increased tuition by 5.9 percent. One trustee had the audacity to call this a positive, “I’m very pleased that we kept it as low as could,” Penn State Trustee Gene Chalken said. This pattern continues year after year, yet the uproar is not heard because it occurs in the middle of July.

Penn State does this knowing that students will not be returning to campus for two months. This is an outrage and an uproar should be made now to demand that we know our tuition rate before the end of the academic year. University Park tuition rises twice the rate of inflation and twice the rate of branch campuses. If we are all one united Penn State then why are we paying drastically more?

If you are of the cynical type who does not believe that tuition is an issue that can be fought, then how about the activity fee and the information technology fee? This past summer the student activity fee was increased by 6.3 percent and the Information Technology Fee was increased by 9.6 percent. These numbers are such ridiculous rises that it almost seems that it can not be true. Penn State has such audacity to have increases this high.

Now if this happened during the academic year there would be a great deal of protest about these dramatic rises. What is the reasoning for such astronomical rises? I sure as hell do not know and Penn State has a responsibility to explain these rises to us. The summer months should not be a reason for Spanier to add another jewel to his crown. If the student body does not even have control over the activity fee then why am I paying to have a middle aged “Dr.” control how my fee is spent?

The noise that we can make about football tickets is loud, but what about the other issues? Yes, the academic year is ending, but how about making some noise about these financial issues? This summer pay attention, these same astronomical rises will occur. Will you do anything about it?

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What you’re saying is dead on, however it is falling on deaf ears. Like you said, the general population cares more about football tickets. They care more about their ability to tailgate, get into the game, and party afterwards. When Mommy and Daddy are paying for tuition, who cares?

While there are students who care about issues besides football tickets, I believe they are a minority in UP’s 40,000+ undergrad population.

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