Blugold Commitment passed with unanimous vote

Freezes in funding cost positions, programs


Photo by Raina Beutel

Story by Raina Beutel, Staff Writer

Funding for “high impact opportunities” through the Blugold Commitment will continue after three weeks of discussion and a unanimous vote from Student Senate Monday night.

Blugold Commitment differential tuition is a student-approved fee that supports immersion experiences, faculty positions, course availability and financial aid grants, according to the memorandum.

That fee comes in the form of four $300 charges to all undergraduate students once a year, or $1,200 total. But after a tuition freeze at the 2013 rate, the final installment has since been suspended, according to the website.

Senator Abby Kielman introduced the bill with “no major changes” — that means no new programming and a continuation of the current tuition freeze for the upcoming year, according to the memorandum.

The decision came after multiple sessions of deliberation. On top of numerous trips to the capital to ask the Board of Regents for continued funding, two weeks before the meeting Monday night, Senate invited Provost Patricia Kleine to get them “excited” over Blugold Commitment.

At that meeting, Kleine explained the “hard decisions” to be made for the upcoming year. Without Blugold Commitment increases, coupled with an expected enrollment drop, Klein said projects would have to be discontinued, positions would need to go unfilled and no new proposals will be made.

“We’ve got to see what happens with enrollment and then we can move forward from there,” Kleine said.

At the meeting Monday night, Kielman said students should be able to take advantage of “what they are paying for,” and should be taken “seriously.”

“We get an experience other students across Wisconsin do not get to have, everyday,” Kielman said.

Senator Mat Riedel, who is graduating in December, said the extra-curricular opportunities it provides give students a “dynamic” edge when applying for jobs, and is something unique to Eau Claire students.

“Without (Blugold Commitment) I don’t know if Blugold graduates would have…the same tremendous force moving forward,” Riedel said.