Student Senate polls on tuition

By Craig Colbrook

The Illinois Student Senate (ISS) will begin an online survey today to gauge University student opinions regarding tuition rates and how the University spends its money.

“The survey will ask how much a raise in tuition students would like to see next year,” said John Campbell, ISS budget committee chairman. “It’s generally just there to give us and the administration some feedback.”

Adam Blahnik, ISS senator and member of the Tuition Policy Advisory Committee, said the survey will focus on specific tuition increases and spending priorities.

“The survey’s going to ask students what they think of certain tuition increases, ones being considered for next year and what they would like to see done with the extra money, what their priorities are,” he said.

Blahnik said this is the third year the survey has been administered. In previous years, students ranked retaining professors and recruiting teaching assistants as their highest priorities.

The survey will last two days, from Tuesday to Wednesday of this week. A mass e-mail sent to the student body today will direct them to the online survey’s Web site.

“Last year, 6,000 people took the survey,” Blahnik said. “That was the most ever. It really meant a lot to us to see that many people come out.”

Campbell said the survey is conducted by the ISS Tuition Policy Executive Committee and Tuition Policy Advisory Committee, who will take the results to the University administration.

“It will be used as a recommendation for the Board of Trustees (BOT) and the Chancellor to help with their decision-making process for the next year,” he said.

Blahnik added that, while the survey isn’t the only thing the BOT considers, it is one of the primary factors.

“The BOT looks at a number of factors, but the survey is very important to them,” he said. “They want to please the students, I guess.”

Campbell said the survey was one of many ways students and student organizations can influence the University’s decisions.

“Students are involved and represented in every step of the tuition process,” he said.