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Is 39 percent really ‘overwhelming?’

Letter to the editor

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POSTED: October 8, 2012 7:00 p.m.

Editor, There was a recent vote by Georgia Southern students concerning a $25 fee increase to fund the increase in the size of the size of the stadium. There was also a $75 increase to help fund moving the school into something called the Football Bowl Subdivision. The “help” part means there is more to come. There was another $10 bucks tacked on for something called “Sustainability and Green efforts on campus.”

The movement required an increase in fees of not the $110 reported but actually $220 a year because the increase is for each of two semesters. In the words of Coach Jeff Monken, both issues passed with “an overwhelming vote.” This “overwhelming vote” now goes to the UGA Board of Regents for final approval.

I don’t have much of a dog in this fight other than the fact that the school is supported to some degree by public funding. I do know that rapidly rising costs of getting a college education has become such a problem that it is on the national stage. I also know that we are falling behind the world academically.

There were objections voiced by some of the 6,000 or 7,000 students who voted “no.” One senior said she was concerned the fee increase was not about expansion of the school or improving education or hiring more teachers. That should be the concern of everyone.
I did a little basic math using the numbers supplied in the article. Georgia Southern has about 20,000 students with about 17,075 being listed as “permanent.”

The number of students that voted was 9,390, or 54 percent of the permanent student body.

Of those, 6,610 voted in favor of the $50-a-year increase in tuition for enlarging the stadium. That represents only 38 percent of the permanent student body.

Of the permanent student body, 5,748 voted “yes” for the $150-a-year increase in fees to “help” fund a move to the Football Bowl Subdivision. That represents 33 percent of the permanent student body.

Thirty-three to 39 percent of students voting for the fee increase doesn’t seem to me to be “an overwhelming” vote to increase the cost of an education for all the students at Georgia Southern.

—Roy Hubbard, Richmond Hill

 

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