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Student Senate works to keep student fees from rising during tuition freeze

Staff Writer

Published: Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 02:09

Now that UNH has received the two-year, in-state tuition freeze, Student Senate is taking a proactive approach to ensure that UNH does not raise student fees in order to compensate for any loss suffered. 

On Sept. 8, a resolution was passed by Student Senate, which “requested continued cost-containment from USNH and UNH.” 

This resolution was introduced by Bryan Merrill, student body president, William McKernan, student body vice president, and Brett Branscombe, the student senate judicial affairs chair. 

Although UNH hasn’t done or said anything to lead the three to believe that it would raise fees, the trio decided to go ahead and attempt to stop any problem that may occur.

“We are being proactive and covering all our bases,” Merrill said. “I’d rather this be a just in case.”

As stated in the resolution, the three say that while it is important to note that there has been a two-year, in-state tuition freeze, tuition is not the only thing that affects the affordability of UNH. 

Students are required to pay various fees in order to attend UNH and those fees are established each year by USNH

As leaders of the student body, Merrill and McKernan want to keep those fees low.

“It’s part of our commitment,” McKernan said. “And we’re committed to making UNH as affordable as possible.”

Branscombe said that he believes that the resolution, which passed unanimously, will not be taken negatively by administration. 

He said that they know how students feel about the cost of UNH, but that a resolution like this is still a good idea and lets administrators know of students’ concerns.

“I think it’s good for administration to have a reminder from the students,” Branscombe said.

Mark Rubinstein, the vice president of student and academic affairs, said that he understands why Merrill, McKernan and Branscombe would want to take this proactive approach. 

He also said that he doesn’t think there is any reason to worry about fees being increased due to the tuition freeze.

“I expect that this is likely to occur as the guideline to keep the aggregate increase in fees relatively low has been in place for several years,” Rubinstein said in an email.

Even though Student Senate only speculates a fee increase, UNH students are very happy that someone is looking into the issue. 

They’re hoping that the resolution takes effect and that prices can stay as low as possible.

“I think it’d be a good idea not to raise fees,” Sean Ford, a freshman, said. “Isn’t UNH the highest in-state tuition already?”

Kendall Edmonds, a junior, also believes that fees should be kept low, considering how much students already pay. 

She said that students should also be more informed about fees and where their money is going.

“I think that students should be told what the mandatory fees are for,” Edmonds said, “If they raised them, would it be justified?”

Edmonds then related back to what McKernan said about affordability and how that’s one of the main problems facing UNH students.

“A tuition freeze is a good place to start for a solution as long as the fees stay the same as well,” Edmonds said.

Working on this solution is very important to Merrill and McKernan, as well as to the rest of Student Senate. 

Passing resolutions such as this one is one of the ways in which they are trying to benefit the student body, regardless of how the university feels.

“Our job is to advocate for what students need, not what administration wants,” McKernan said.

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