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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Student Senate takes stance against tuition increase

Student senate took a public stance against a proposed fixed tuition increase Wednesday night after Texas A&M vice president of finance, Jerry Strawser, gave a presentation similar to one he gave at the public tuition and fee hearings last week.

 

Following Strawser’s presentation, Joseph Hood, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, introduced the 2015 SGA Tuition Stance Bill to formalize the senate’s position on the matter.

As Hood read from the bill, he cited a 100 percent-plus increase in tuition cost from 2003 to present and rising student debt, as reasons why student senate shouldn’t support the fixed tuition increase.

 

“Texas A&M, however, has experienced a tuition increase of 93 percent from 2003 to 2013,” Hood said “Students are in a lot of debt. 44 percent of students who graduate from Texas A&M graduate with some type of debt, [and] the average debt for that 44 percent is $22,000.”

 

The bill passed with 42 voting for, 0 voting against, 6 abstaining and 28 student senators who were absent.

 

In addition to opposing the fixed tuition increase, Senator Hood and Speaker of the Student Senate Aaron Mitchell introduced the Advisor Fee Referendum Bill to gather student opinion on a proposed $20 advising fee for undergraduates. The per semester fee, which would go toward hiring and training new advisors for undergraduate students, aims to bring the student to advisor ratio down below the 300-plus student to 1 advisor level it currently sits at.

 

Mitchell said the referendum, which will be administered by Elections Commissioner Kallie Fuchs, would be available from 4 p.m. Thursday to 6 p.m. Tuesday at vote.tamu.edu.

 
Mitchell said if around 12,000 students voiced their position on the referendum that would give the senate the credibility needed to be accurate in their representation of student sentiment to the Board of Regents.

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