Opinion: Where is the students’ say in the new credit fee?



Elaina Sauber

Elaina Sauber

Elaina Sauber is a sophomore English major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected]

The voting rights of citizens living in Washington, D.C., are not the same as the voting rights of those who live in the 50 states.

Although D.C. is allowed three electoral votes for President, residents do not have voting representation in the U.S. Senate. D.C. does have a delegate from the House of Representatives, but he/she is not allowed to vote on the floor of the House.

According to Businessinsider.com, Washington D.C. is the eighth most expensive city in America. This is what many know as taxation without representation.

Whether or not you agree with the voting laws in D.C., there is no doubt that something very similar is happening at Kent State. The Board of Trustees, which votes on issues such as tuition increases, awards President Lefton his annual bonuses and approved the new credit-hour fee beginning Fall 2012.

The Board consists of two student trustees to represent the Kent State student body. The only problem is that these student trustees don’t have voting rights.

On the one hand, students will be forced to pay hundreds of dollars more for trying to graduate on time. But the fact that no student had any voice in this decision, not even the student trustees, makes this decision unacceptable.

According to the May 26, 2010 Board of Trustees meeting, it was noted that each university branch created its own strategy map, which “articulated specific actions to be taken in support of the institution’s overall mission, vision and strategic goals, as well as measures of success…The strategic plan identifies six strategic goals: ensuring student success; enhancing academic excellence and innovation; expanding breakthrough research and creative endeavors; engaging with the world beyond our campuses; securing our financial future; and developing and recognizing our people.”

How, in any way, have the actions of President Lefton and the Board of Trustees ensured student success? How have they secured our financial future or recognized us? Why are 11 people making life-changing decisions for 27,000 people when we have no way to make our voices heard?

Our administration has failed us and blames the state budget cuts for its actions. With our record-breaking enrollment numbers, haven’t we made up for the budget cuts through tuition and fees already?

If not, I encourage someone to show the student body where exactly our money is going. In the meantime, we must make an impact and demand voting rights for student trustees.

If we are not represented, we will continue to be taken advantage of until we can no longer afford to attend college or we are in debt from student loans that will take a lifetime to pay off. Whichever comes first.