SUPERIOR, WI – Governor Scott Walker came to speak in the Yellowjacket Union on the subject of the UW-System tuition freeze; a budget proposal that was approved by the board of UW regents on July 11th.
The tuition freeze being proposed would make it so the tuition to attend UWS would not increase for the next two years. “This is important for the students here,” said Walker. “It’s important for the families who support students here and it’s important for the state as a whole.”
Tuition costs $7,904 for Wisconsin residents at UWS presently. Director of University Relations, Lynne Williams, stated that we won’t see as much income but we will see the usual costs of operations go up.
“The tuition freeze…is the right thing to do for the students at this point in time,” said Williams.
The freeze is partially in response to a $650,000 surplus of the UW-System in 2012.
Also in the budget is a 1% pay raise for employees.
Along with the freeze we will see $200 million in other cuts to the UW-System. SGA president Graham Garfield spoke against the tuition freeze because of this. “It’s going to force us to cut programs, it’s going to force us to cut faculty,” said Garfield. He also talked about how the budget would hurt, and even eliminate the United Council of UW Students, an advocate for issues of higher education pertaining to value, and quality of the student experience. According to Garfield this group will be cease to exist in Walkers new budget. Also, many other student organizations will struggle with less funding to them.
“It’s a small part of a big budget that looks student friendly on the outside and should be terrifying to students on the inside when you consider those provisions,” said Garfield.
After the Governor spoke he then took time to shake hands and answer questions to individuals in the audience. Some attendees came to the press conference with protest signs. Walker also made stops to other UW-system colleges