College Station, TX -- The Texas Aggie Conservatives released a statement Tuesday questioning the rationale and condemning the timing, location, and circumstances of the scheduled vote by Texas A&M Board of Regents to increase tuition at Texas A&M University. The Aggie Conservatives is calling for the vote to be postponed until May and to be held in College Station.
The Board of Regents meeting will be held in Galveston on Thursday, at which the Board will consider the approval of tuition increases for Texas A&M students and tuition reform policies that will impact all Texas A&M System universities.
The following is the official statement released by the Texas Aggie Conservatives:
For the sake of the interests of all Texas A&M students, the Texas Aggie Conservatives calls upon the Board of Regents to postpone their scheduled vote of Texas A&M tuition reforms until May and to hold the vote in College Station.
Karan Watson, A&M provost, announced the very questionable purpose of the tuition increase: to take money from most students to pay for other students' tuition. "The increase will be used for financial aid," said Watson. "We will have more financial aid, but obviously the students will be paying a bit more." Such a rationale for a tuition increase has not been communicated to students very well and deserves to be better digested and debated among the student body.
The Board of Regents is scheduled to vote on the proposed tuition increase at its next meeting, yet the meeting is scheduled to be held out of town in Galveston, a very inconvenient place for College Station students. Since at least least 2006, all major tuition votes have occurred in College Station and in the months of March or May.
Moreover, the university and university system have done an unacceptably poor job collecting student feedback on the proposal. Texas A&M attempted to collect feedback only during finals and winter break. However, it was later revealed that the final tuition proposal was dated December 9th, before the supposed feedback period.
The university gave only two days notice for the legally required public on-campus hearing on the issue, a hearing that took place on a study day before finals. No details about the proposed tuition increase were released before the hearing, making it impossible for students to study the proposal and bring informed questions to the hearing. At the hearing, Provost Watson admitted it was "too short of notice."
Provost Watson described the tuition proposals as "major changes," yet the administration did not distribute any details of the plan to students via email or other form of mass communication. According to university records, only 5 students submitted feedback via email, which further highlights the lackluster effort by the administration to inform students and solicit feedback from university stakeholders.
Comprehensive details of the tuition proposal were not released until the Board of Regents posted their agenda last Friday as required by state law. The university did not respond last week to requests made by the Aggie Conservatives for the public release of the tuition proposal.
Furthermore, tuition proposals are typically considered by the Board of Regents in May, not January. There is currently no permanent university president in place, and there is no urgent need to address tuition rates.
The Aggie Conservatives respectfully requests the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents take no action on tuition related issues at the Board meeting this week.
The Texas Aggie Conservatives has a membership of over 100 undergraduate and graduate students dedicated to advancing the philosophies of economic freedom, personal responsibility, prudent foreign policy, and government accountability.