Students are finally taking budget concerns into their own hands.
Throughout this academic year, they have stood by and watched Temple’s dollars decrease and cutbacks commence. The freeze on hiring and out-of-state travel may have registered on some students’ minds, but Gov. Ed Rendell has brought the issue to the forefront.
In his proposed Pennsylvania Tuition Relief Act, Rendell is planning to bring needed tuition assistance to some Pennsylvania students. Rendell is excluding schools that are state-related, which includes Temple, Penn State University, the University of Pittsburgh and Lincoln University.
Temple Student Government President Nadine Mompremier is valiantly rallying her fellow Owls to speak out against the overlook. Temple students are in no better financial situations than their state-system peers.
President Ann Weaver Hart and the administration can only do so much to plead students’ cases, so it is up to the student body itself to call for assistance.
Appropriations from the state have been dwindling over the past few years, and Temple has had to rely more on tuition revenues.
Rendell’s cold shoulder brought Penn State students into Philadelphia in an attempt to get their university into the legislation. The State College-based school has thousands of students across the state who would like – and need – the tuition assistance as much as Temple students.
TSG is driving home the fact that under the act, students and their families would only pay what they can afford if the family’s combined salary is less than $100,000.
Many Temple students struggle to pay their tuitions and would greatly benefit from reduced costs to their educations. The benefits would be seen immediately, the burden of how students would pay their bills to Temple would be lightened, and students wouldn’t be buried under as much debt after they graduate, as they struggle to get that first job and pay back loans.
The struggle to get Temple included in the act isn’t ending with the rally – it is just the beginning. Mompremier is planning a letter-writing campaign and an e-mailing campaign to the Pennsylvania General Assembly in hope of swaying opinion before the act goes to a vote.
If the situation does not improve, Mompremier plans to protest in Harrisburg, but she cannot do it by herself.
Student support needs to remain strong if we really want to see results. Fair-weather activists never get much done. Stick with the cause until the desired outcome is reached.