On March 10 Southern Utah University Student Association held its weekly Senate Meeting. The meeting focused on the yearly Truth-in-Tuition Hearing, preparing to transition to a new SUUSA and finally a few announcements.
Marvin Dodge, Vice President of Finance & Administration, led the presentation with proposed figures demonstrating how Utah tuition stacks up nationwide as well as focusing specifically on SUU.
Overall Utah Higher Education tuition is the third lowest in the country with SUU’s tuition increases averaging lower than statewide costs.
Last year SUU had a 0% increase to tuition and fees, which Dodge hopes to keep for this year as well.
Tuition increases are chosen by the Utah State Board of Regents based on the recommendations of each campus, so while SUU does not have direct control over a potential increase they are not recommending one.
Dodge emphasized a hope across the campus to not increase tuition or fees, including that President Scott L. Wyatt prides his tenure on not increasing tuition outside of required price increases.
If tuition were to be increased it would be a maximum of 3%, or a $90 increase for in-state undergraduate students. Though this seems unlikely due to a state-wide plan of freezing tuition costs as a part of an affordability study.
Along with potential tuition increases Dodge discussed the possibility of fee increases. Outdoor Recreation, the Testing Center and the Child Care Center all have proposed fee changes.
While the university hopes to cover these fees through increased enrollment, worries over the coronavirus could impact overall enrollment. If these fees aren’t covered internally they may be added on to current student fees.
While the tuition hearing was the bulk of the meeting, there were some important reports and announcements as well.
SUUSA President Jeff Carr emphasized that the campus currently has no plans to shut down as a result of the coronavirus or COVID-19.
“Classes won’t be cancelled and rumors of classes shifting to online after spring break are currently false,” Carr said.
The university is keeping a close eye on the situation, however it currently is not expected to impact the semester.
A new provost has been chosen and President Wyatt is expected to announce that soon. The provost is an important role in the university and their policies can have a big impact.
SUU’s Healthy Minds survey is currently at 11% completion across the campus. This survey is important for the university to have a better understanding of mental health on campus. Students are encouraged to take it if they haven’t already.
Finally SUUSA had a few event reminders.
SUU is currently celebrating Pride Week. There are daily events throughout the week celebrating the LGBTQ+ community on campus and you won’t want to miss them.
Along with Pride Week, there is a Pride Film Festival. Each of the films represent a different LGBTQ+ relationship. Along with the film screenings there is a Q&A panel afterwards.
Finally, the Senior Bachelor of Fine Arts exhibition begins on March 14 in the Southern Utah Museum of Art. Each of the graduating seniors have created their own display made up of their best work. The BFA exhibit runs through the end of the semester.
SUUSA Senate Meetings are held every Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m in the Sterling Church Auditorium located in the Sharwan Smith Student Center.
Story by: Alex Schilling
Photos Courtesy of: Alex Schilling