With proposed tuition hikes, students urged to vote

Posted Thursday, October 7, 2004 - 12:00am

Have you ever wondered why tuition in Utah is so much higher than other states? One reason might be that most people between the age of 18 and 24 are not getting out to vote. Tuition at Utah's public colleges and universities over the next few years has been rumored to raise 43 percent. The only way to change this is if the students vote and change the ideas the Utah State legislature are proposing.

In Utah State University's Statesman student newspaper, the president of the university was quoted saying "the 43 percent increase will equate to about $1,126 for resident undergraduate tuition." This could cause less enrollment in any Utah college. The president of USU does not see this as a factor in limiting enrollment for them, but to a small college like CEU, this could hurt the school badly, not to mention the communities around it.

This tuition increase is seen as a problem to most out-of-state students at CEU and many are thinking about not continuing in Utah because of this rise in costs. Out-of-state student Angela Chavez says, "Next year will be my last year in Utah because I will not be able to afford to attend college in Utah." This could make it so that more students start staying and attending schools in their home states.

Utah residents have expressed the thought that maybe after this year they will attend a university outside of the state of Utah just to save money. Student Brett Johnson says, "We already spend an arm and a leg on books and fees, raising tuition in Utah even higher is becoming a huge joke." This means that Utah's universities will start to see a decline in out-of-state and instate students attending their schools.

Many students do not realize the purpose and the power of voting and many find it requires a little work to register but if we do not vote then we do not have a voice. Student Andrew Blackwell states, "We are the ones affected by it; however, we are the lowest voting demographic. That is why we need a change." If we as college students do not get out and voice our opinion then the government is going to continue to roll over us and not ever care.

This is one of the many reasons that it is so important to vote. If we as students come together and voice our opinion then maybe we will be able to make a change. There are 43 million people between the age of 18 and 24 and not even 13 million of them voted in the 2000 presidential election. When the men and women in polical offices see this it, does not make them want to change anything just for us as college students. They are going to think and concentrate on the people who are really getting their numbers out there to vote.

Brad King, vice president of insitutional advancement at CEU and member of the Utah House of Representatives, commented, "With my experience in public office, I have learned two important things.  First, the world is run by those who show up; and second, if you are not part of the process, you can't be a part of the solution.  Let's all be a part of the process and get out and vote November 2."

If you want your voice to be heard and your opinion to matter then you can pick up a registration in the SUN Center or at the ASCEU Leadership booth. If you need help filling out the application to vote or the absentee ballet ask a member of ASCEU or the student advocate, Heather Higham. Remember, individual voices counts, and we have the power to change what goes on both in our state and nationally. It's your money, and you can change where it goes.

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