USG president will not back down on financial security for students

By Gus Bode

Jarard will look at this issue at first meeting

Undergraduate Student Government President Michael Jarard is not budging on his position defending the financial security of students at SIU against the recent tuition increase, even though filling USG committee seats and appointing senators remain first on his list.

Jarard plans to assure that the SIU Administration will follow through with plans to put money received from increased student tuition toward improved education at the University.

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Jarard noted that enrollment figures, which will be available Sept. 3, will determine what action USG will take on behalf of students and their checkbooks.

If enrollment is significantly lower that an average of previous years, USG will scrutinize the appropriation of the extra money the University will collect from the 18 percent tuition hike, Jarard said.

“Most of my main fighters have been gone all summer,” Jarard said, indicating that plans for challenging the use of money from the tuition hike are not complete. Jarard has also reserved action pertaining to the tuition increase this summer because most students are not around to participate.

Anne De Luca, director of Admissions and Records, is optimistic about preliminary enrollment data.

“We were very pleased to see that we did not have any families who called and told us ‘this tuition increase is making it unaffordable to come to school,'” De Luca said.

Enrollment numbers should remain high since much of the money received from the tuition increase will to go toward various forms of financial aid, De Luca said.

A list of applications for added tuition revenue as promised by SIU administrators includes a 50-cent student worker wage increase, which took effect Aug. 4, need and merit-based scholarships, undergraduate and graduate assistantships and classroom upgrades.

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Jarard hopes to interest freshmen and sophomores as well as upperclassmen in participating in their student government.

These items will have high priority for discussion at the first USG meeting Saturday afternoon.

Members of USG will also address the Carbondale Encroachment Ordinance, hoping to work with the city to conceive a more reasonable plan at the first USG meeting Saturday afternoon.

Jarard also plans to work with others on the complete review of the Student Conduct Code, a document that has not been reviewed in its entirety since 1991.

As soon as the enrollment numbers are final on Sept. 3, Jarard will decide if and what level of action will be necessary.

Jarard noted that so far, money has been going where it should, but he will not back down if that changes.

Evan Rau can be reached [email protected]

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