USG unanimously passes legislation opposing replacement of faculty

By Gus Bode

USG also votes to oppose future tuition increases

The members of the Undergraduate Student Government sent a clear message to the administration at its first meeting Jan. 15 passing two resolutions opposing the possible replacement of faculty if there is a strike and tuition increases scheduled to occur during the next three academic years.

“I think it would be a huge slap in the face to teachers and students that someone without a degree in my subject will be brought in to teach in place of someone who has a degree,” said Erik Wiatr, a senior in history who supported the resolution.


Chancellor Walter Wendler said he would not bring unqualified teachers into the classroom.

The legislation stated it “demands the administration to resolve the issue with the faculty” to prevent the disruption of the students’ education. It referred to an “unwritten contract” between students and the University concerning the quality of education students pay to receive.

The senators unanimously passed it with no opposition.

The second resolution also went through the senate without opposition, but underwent some debate before it was passed.

The administration raised tuition at SIUC by 18 percent for fiscal year 2003 and 16 percent for the fiscal year 2004.

Because of the “sharp, significant increase” in tuition, the resolution opposed any tuition increases for years 2005 and 2006, which are currently set at 7 percent and 8 percent, respectively.

“We felt that the increases were so high that students shouldn’t have to have another tuition increase,” Wiatr said, who wrote and introduced the resolution.


The main reason for the opposition resulted from the students being kept in the dark about how the money will be spent.

“The last increase didn’t go toward academics,” senator Rob Taylor said. “Who knows where the next one is going?”

Senator Peter Normand, a senior in architectural studies, said he would approve of the resolution if it was amended to oppose any increase that does not support maintaining the current academic programs.

While Wiatr said that was also a concern of his, there was no guarantee that the money would be used for academics.

“I agree with what he said, but nobody knows where the money is going” Wiatr said. “At the very least, the administration needs to come out and tell the students where the money will be allocated to.”

Wiatr said they were given broad goals for the money’s use, but USG has received no concrete plan. Also, since the Board of Trustees has not agreed to the increases in 2005 and 2006, Wendler might increase the tuition even more.

When it came time for the vote, the senate passed the resolution with no dissent, despite the few senators who spoke against it.

“I thought a couple of people might oppose, but most students would be in support of something like this,” Wiatr said. “I think the senate reflected that.”

Reporter Valerie Donnals can be reached at [email protected]