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Letter to the Editor — The rent is too damn high!

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The rent is too damn high!

Several changes have taken place at WSU over the past couple of months, majority of which several students don’t understand, or agree with. It seems as though once the administration was done “waiting out” former Student Body President, Joseph Shepard, former Student Body Vice President, Taben Azad and former Student Government Association advisor, Christine Schneikart-Luebbe, they (members of the Presidents Executive Team) wasted no time on making decisions that will negatively impact students financially on campus. Before the 60th session of Student Government Association ended for summer recess, a re-vote, for a new Wellness Center on campus made its way to the floor. This came after several students protested, complained and raised valid concerns about the cost of the new wellness center. Even after the 59th session voted the implementation of the fee down, the administration and our current Student Body President thought it was appropriate to discuss and vote on this decision with a new senate who had not been educated on the logistics or cost of this new facility. As a result, the resolution to increase students fees to support a new Wellness Center passed and several students are feeling the impact now. As sad as this is, given the financial state of higher education across the nation, the days of Wichita State looking to increase the cost of education didn’t stop there. On February 10th students became aware of a new “private” housing facility on Innovation Campus called, “The Flats.” After several students, including our SGA leadership at that time complained about the prices, on May 10th, the prices changed. However, the price is still too damn high! So, you can imagine how shocked I was to learn this morning that Fairmount Tower Residents will be granted the opportunity to move into the Flats and Fairmount Towers will be closing. Though they won’t be paying the full price living at the Flats for the first year, there is a important question that remains. Why is it that the University is led to fill the Flats by moving over residents from Fairmount Towers? Were there not enough leases signed prior to the scheduled move in day? Something tells me the university couldn’t fill the Flats, so this is just a way to make it happen. However, wouldn’t that be a conflict of interest considering this is privately owned? Secondly, we still have bond debt on Fairmount Towers. If we’re closing this housing facility, how will we make money to pay off this debt and it’s accrued interest? Will we continue to hike up student fees to make up for the poor financial decisions the university is making? I won’t idly sit back and allow that to happen. As a senator with Student Government Association, I am disappointed in President Hungates lack of response and advocacy in regard to these issues. On June 21st, President Hungate tweeted a “interesting” chart regarding Kansas States tuition and state funding. However, she has yet to mention the $535,381.96 the university has paid off former university employees to leave in silence. This money comes from the general operating budget that STUDENTS pay into. Additionally, President Hungate still has not addressed the rising cost of student fees due to the implementation of the Wellness Center fee. However, we can’t allow President Hungate to be silent this time. Students deserve to hear from the leader they elected into office. Perhaps President Hungate can stop blocking all her constituents who disagree with her on social media and begin to dialogue with us just as she promised in her campaign. At this point, it seems she’s working for the Presidents Executive Team rather than the students. Some students, specifically students of color, are tired of telling President Hungate how to do her job. Playing nice with the administration doesn’t mean you sit back and allow them to make decisions that are financially detrimental to the success of the student body. Low income students, first generation students and yes, black students can not afford these hikes in tuition. The data and research done in the 59th session of SGA proved that to us. So why is it that we keep making these decisions that will push these students out of our institution?

Demetrius Sterling
Liberal Arts and Sciences Senator, Student Government Association

1 Comment

One Response to “Letter to the Editor — The rent is too damn high!”

  1. salty student on July 16th, 2017 9:31 pm

    In the end it doesn’t matter what any student, professor, SGA member, SGA president, or other community members say, The President’s action team (PAT) just doesn’t care. They (PAT) seem to be largely unfamiliar that WSU students don’t come from families with deep pockets, if students did they likely would go else where. If you want change then you need to change the make up of the Kansas Board of Regents. Once KBOR changes then we will see universities stop tying to out match other universities and start getting back to TEACHING.

    Could you imagine if Kansas was fully funding universities with our current leaders? We wouldn’t see any increase on teaching or decrease on student fees, instead it would all go to dumb ideas like luxury dorms, fine dining, sport recruitment, new administrative buildings, campus artwork, HBO in dorms, and dare I say it.. John Tomblin’s salary inflate to 1 Million dollars per year.

    -Not that I hate sports, but in the end is it that important for every student to spend $700 per year just so WSU can have a basketball team and other necessary sports to compete in a conference? I don’t know about you, but at the end of my degree I’d rather have $2,800 in my bank account than WSU to have a basketball team. Students are getting ripped off with athletic fees, instead we should demand to make the alumni pay for all of the student athletic fees or else they don’t get a basketball team. The alumni and WSU sport fans are getting cheap entertainment off the backs of expensive student fees!

    -For students to pay 0.5 million dollars for labor that will never get fulfilled, the students should have some say if those individuals who were removed should not have been removed and force this monarchy of a administration to work with said individuals. Power needs to be decentralized from the President’s action team. To spend student fees without regard to the tax payers best interest should be criminal ignorance. The same goes for the move of Fairmont towers into a private apartment. Since each student will be sharing a bedroom, it is unlikely that the floor area of the bedrooms will be bigger than the dorms, then the students deserve a discount of housing. The university is transferring unnecessary money into a private firm’s bank account all in the name of someone’s idea of progress. Here’s my definition of progress, PAYING OF YOUR DEBT and then lowering the rent on Fairmount Towers!!

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