Editorial: Neither seen nor heard

Did you know that your cost to attend ASU might skyrocket next semester? That the economic recovery surcharge may double? That tuition will go up?

If you’re reading the paper or have been tapped into ASU’s news feed, you probably did know. But look around you — most people probably don’t. And won’t, at least until they see their bill next semester.

Let the outrage ensue — after it’s too late to do anything about it.

But today is not too late.

And if we tell our friends, roommates, classmates, whomever, that we will not take a 13 percent increase in costs, we may not have to.

Right now, our biggest enemy is not the potential price tag we face. Instead it’s the apathy, or worse, ignorance that prevents us from changing it.

The Arizona Board of Regents hosted a tuition hearing last night. They heard comments from students at all four ASU campuses, UA and NAU — campuses representing about 130,000 Arizona university students.

But was the attendance equal to the number of students that will feel unfairly taken advantage of when they are spending more on higher education?

Not even close.

Hearings that should have drawn thousands of students were lucky to have a hundred.

Has the student body earned its right to complain as a whole when only a select few are willing to fight for an affordable cost to attend the University?

When the state threatened to slash funding for Arizona universities, there was a huge uprising at the Capitol. But UA was better represented than ASU, the University that has campuses in Tempe, Mesa and Phoenix. Why?

Do not believe that someone else will lead the fight. No one is responsible for representing you except for you. Don’t be afraid that your voice won’t be heard at this University.

There are 67,000 students at ASU. Imagine the impact it would make on the Board of Regents if every student sent one e-mail about their concerns. The tuition and surcharge plan isn’t set in stone — yet. But it will be soon.

If you aren’t keen on paying out of your nose to sit in a lecture hall, then don’t wait for someone else to make a move. Someone else isn’t paying your tuition. You are.

The Regents need to hear from thousands, not hundreds, of students that we cannot afford the cost burden.

At this point, we are not handcuffed to a 13 percent increase in costs at ASU. But taking a stand is only the first step. Make sure others know how much they will be spending if nothing is done.

If you don’t think that you can afford your tuition next semester, why not let the Regents know? Tell them your story. You and 60,000 of your closest friends might just be the voice that matters. And at the very least you’ll have earned the right to complain if your concerns go unanswered.

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