Student Senate discusses tuition, elects C-U liasions

By Abigale Svoboda

Tweet: Mitch Dickey, Illinois Student Senate president, is still dedicated to lowering the cost of college tuition.Illinois Student Senate met for the third time of the school year Wednesday but had to delay any resolutions for action.

Matt Hill, vice president-external, said the student senate did not discuss the scheduled resolutions for action because the sub-committees have not been able to meet yet. The Internal Affairs committee will meet Sunday to discuss the resolutions for action which include, creating an ad-hoc committee for mental health, creation of the Committee on Housing, Transportation and Urban Development and support for honoring former basketball coach Lou Henson.

Tuition costs

In twelve years, the average unmet financial need for University students has increased over $5,000, said Mitch Dickey, student body president.

During his announcements at the meeting, Dickey said he spoke with Dan Mann, director of student financial aid, to talk about tuition costs and student need.

In 2003, he said the average unmet need was $3,574. In 2014 the average unmet need was $8,881; that is approximately $108 million of unmet need across the University campus, Dickey said.

Unmet need is any living or tuition costs that are not met by financial aid or expected family contribution. Dickey said students then have to take out private loans or find external scholarships to cover their education costs.

Dickey said he will continue to work with Mann and hopes to have him give a presentation to the student senate about tuition and what financial aid is currently doing.

“We’re trying to figure out how we can make the University more cost-effective for students and cost less for students,” he said.

Dickey has been active in lowering the cost of education during his time as student senate president. He spoke about college affordability to an Illinois senate committee on June 16. He also testified before the Illinois Senate Committee on Higher Education on May 19 to oppose Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposed $16 million cuts to state funding for Amtrak.

To further combat increased unmet need and the pending University budget issues, Dickey works on the Campus Budget Advisory Task Force, which was initiated by former chancellor Phyllis Wise over the summer.

“We’re trying to cut out some things in the budget that are maybe not as beneficial as they are costly.”

ISS and C-U collaboration

The student senators voted on two liaisons to the Champaign and Urbana city councils. Raneem Shamseldin, sophomore in LAS and Spencer Haydary, sophomore in LAS were elected. The senators will attend city council meetings and relay ideas to the council and report city concerns to the student senate.

Sam LeRoy, student senator, said working with the city councils is an opportunity for the University to better integrate with members of the community and help make their voices heard too.

“We shouldn’t think of the U of I as ending at Neil Street,” said Mark Glassgow, senior in LAS and Urbana native. “It’s a whole community.”

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