Three student trustee candidates discussed key campus issues Wednesday during a debate in the Student Center.
When the candidates were questioned about the greatest issue that the campus is facing, each had different opinions of how to go about changing that issue.
“I think that’s really subjective to the students that you talk to,” Wheetley said. “Things that are important to large groups of students are obviously tuition.”
Wheetley said it is important for the trustee to communicate with many students, because there are many different issues that students have, and they should take all issues into consideration.
“We all have different priorities, we all have different goals here at SIU, and having that communication is really important in knowing what is important to individual students,” Wheetley said.
Miller said he and everyone in the room knows it’s the price of going to school. The state of Illinois funding for higher education has decreased by nearly $70 million since 2002.
“That decrease is huge, it’s your pocketbooks and it’s why your fees are going up, that’s why the tuition is going up year after year,” Miller said. “The fees need to be reviewed. The fees of the 1980’s do not meet the needs for the students of the 21 century.”
Tobin said enrollment is the biggest issue the university faces.
“I agree with our interim chancellor that we are doing a good job getting [students] here despite high tuition, despite ridiculously high fees, we are getting kids here, but we can’t keep them,” Tobin said. “Kids are coming here, they aren’t staying here.
Tobin said student involvement in campus and grades are the top reasons as to why students don’t stay after their first year.
All students have the ability to vote and the election is held on Desire 2 Learn, which is accessible through Salukinet. The election begins at 6 a.m. on Sep. 3 and close Sep. 4 at 5 p.m. and the winner is named five minutes after voting ends.