Senate president to allow amendments to tuition resolution at Monday meeting

Story by The Spectator staff

Posted: 12/04/09

Results of the Blugold Commitment survey sent to all undergraduates Tuesday yielded 3,672 responses, which is the highest student response in any UW-Eau Claire student survey, referendum or election, according to a university press release.

Click here to review the full survey results.

Student Body President Michael Umhoefer said survey results show that while almost 60 percent and about 34 percent of all students didn’t approve of the cost or financial aid amount, respectively, they did support the mission of the commitment, such as high impact practices and learning opportunities.

“It gives me some hope to think that a modified proposal could still work,” Umhoefer said. “But not this one.”

On the survey, students were able to answer questions regarding their involvement in high impact practices and learning opportunities, such as internships, faculty/student collaborative research and study abroad. According to survey results, 59 percent of respondents have participated in First Year Experience opportunities, with service learning having the second highest involvement at 39 percent.

However, respondents were asked to select experiences they would like to participate in at the university. Forty-six percent of respondents said they would like to participate in an internship, with studying abroad at almost 41 percent. Of all experiences, FYE received the lowest amount of votes, with only 3 percent of respondents wanting to participate in it.

Of the respondents, 86 percent said they had heard of the Blugold Commitment proposal before taking the survey.

Student Senate is scheduled to vote on a resolution in support of the Blugold Commitment at their Monday meeting, which begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Tamarack Room in Davies. Students will have an opportunity for input during Open Forum, Umhoefer said.

The resolution, which Umhoefer wrote to the specifications of the survey sent to students this week, is amendable. Umhoefer said he anticipates amendments to the amount and financial aid.

“What I anticipate is (on Monday), senators really focusing on the results of the survey,” he said. “I believe that Senate supports the idea of the Blugold Commitment and the outcomes of the Blugold Commitment, but obviously we have to take in the survey results.”

The differential tuition increase was scheduled to be presented to the Board of Regents in February for approval. However, with the impending Senate resolution vote and Regents meeting on System-wide differential tuition policy next week, Umhoefer said the Blugold Commitment presentation will likely be rescheduled for the regents’ April meeting.