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On Wednesday, another newspaper based in the Valley of the Sun published an editorial titled regarding the recent proposal to increase tuition at state universities.

They called for the Arizona Board of Regents to “flatly reject” every proposal university administrators put forth that would involve an increase in students’ cost of attendance, noting that “an ‘affordable’ college education is becoming an antiquated concept.” Citing the fact that the poor economic climate we face puts higher education in more demand as the job market gets more competitive, and that the rising costs of that education establishes more obstacles for the unemployed, the newspaper understandably urged the universities to put a “temporary brake on the money train.”

And though we would like to joke that taking financial advice from the newspaper in question is akin to taking legal council from O.J. Simpson, we feel inclined to give them a little bit of credit. In its editorial, it seems fair to surmise that the paper has only the best of intentions in mind for Arizona’s students.

But they are flat-out missing the point.

In supporting the idea that the state legislature could “assert at least some control” on the situation by passing bills to freeze tuition, the paper is shifting blame improperly on the universities. After all, it was the legislature, not the school administrators who caused this conflict in the first place by not properly allocating the proper funds to the universities.

While it hurts all of us students at the University to have to pay up, it is the deficient state funding — not the tuition increases — that hurt us more. After all, the tuition increases wouldn’t be necessary if Arizona lawmakers would stop slighting ASU, UA and NAU, and find themselves more willing to open up the coffers on education.

That’s why, to us, asking the state to stop tuition increases is like asking a perpetrator to clean up his or her own crime scene.

The last thing the universities, ASU in particular, needs is less money, especially not for the benefit of a popular political statement. Even without the proposed tuition increases that would go into effect next year, the school is reeling. When a school is sharply raising student fees, cutting back faculty associate positions and upping class sizes before a tuition increase helps equalize the finances, it is scary to picture what would come without next year’s proposed cash influx.

After all, the students are already suffering; class offerings are clearly not what they used to be, enrollment numbers in certain programs are getting capped, and departments — primarily non-academic ones — are trimming every expense they can afford to cut loose.

It all adds up; for instance, the Tempe campus’ Mobility Services is struggling to keep up with the heavy volume of demands to transport all students with permanent or temporary disabilities across campus.

Under current budgetary conditions, does it seem likely they will get the additional hundreds of dollars necessary to expand their services to meet the needs of the student population? It seems highly unlikely to us.

Similarly, it seems unlikely to us that the state legislature will heed one local newspaper’s ill-informed advice in stopping the problem of annual proposals for tuition increases — a problem they could have stopped years ago by simply investing in the universities in the first place.

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