5 things The Editorial Board learned from Michael Crow, from guns to football

What we know thanks to Crow, from guns to football. Every semester, The State Press Editorial Board sits down with ASU President Michael Crow to discuss all things ASU. 

We got the low-down directly from the man himself. What follows are our top five picks from our meeting with Crow.  

Sexual assault a matter of education

Earlier this semester, The State Press reported that ASU would create an Sexual Victims Unit to investigate sexual assaults that happen in the jurisdiction of ASU’s four campuses.

Crow was decidedly supportive of throwing as many resources at the topic as possible in order to educate people on the subject of consent and assault.

Changing hearts and minds through education, however, is not the only thing that will prevent sexual assault. ASU must continue its progress towards preventing and solving sexual assault, all while supporting survivors

One thing that made us suspicious of this institutional activity was the proximity to the Title IX investigation by the Justice Department earlier this year. These rapid changes seem to have spurred action that might not have come independently from the University alone.

Crow comes to the defense of embattled football team

It’s no secret that the ASU football team has come under a lot of pressure. Last week, the State Press editorial board wrote that the football team needs to temper its expectations when it comes to fan commitment.

On the eve of an exciting upset of No. 7 UCLA on the road, Crow claimed he would rather die in the stadium than leave a game early as a fan.

Many fans have been quick to jump to criticism of players and coaches, but Crow hasn’t made any hasty judgments after the first five games.

“We evaluate the football team at the end of the season,” he said. “It is up to the coaches and the team to figure out what errors they’ve been making and make corrections. That’s part of the learning process. For the athletic director or myself to do much more than that along the way would interfere with the learning process.”

Guns don’t belong on campus

Some groups on campus have petitioned for guns to be allowed on campus, and we asked Crow what he thought about students being able to carry weapons generally.

“We are a school at the end of the day,” Crow said. “The place is basically filled with young adults and children. Guns are not appropriate in places with young adults and children. So when we asked our police department, and when we asked the city police department and others about what they think, what they say is ‘no.’”

He also mentioned that campus shootings are largely the result of a disgruntled young man who has some sort of problem. Crow emphasized that the best way to prevent campus violence is getting people help immediately when they need it.

“There are huge lapses in helping people that need help,” Crow said. “We have a whole number of policies in place right now here at ASU to make certain that what happened at Virginia Tech doesn’t happen here.”

We applaud Crow’s dedication to getting people help when they exhibit signs of being troubled, and it was heartening to hear the president of our University encourage the community to be more supportive of some of the most vulnerable who attend our colleges.

Haters have been hating for years

Crow was not at all pleased by Stephen Colbert’s comment about ASU being “a degree mill,” which is to be expected from ASU’s president.

He insisted that while “haters are gonna hate,” ASU has been fighting misconceptions and detractors since it was first converted from a college to a university in 1958. ASU was turned from Arizona State College to Arizona State University by public vote — a fact that Crow said he likes to remember.

“We are the only university founded by public referendum,” he explained. “Now, why did it require a vote? It required a direct vote because no one else wanted it to happen.”

Keeping tuition affordable, competitive

On the heels of last year’s $99 million cut in funding from the state, ASU introduced a one-time $320 fee for undergraduate in-state students and out-of-state tuition rates increased by $955.

Crow assured in-state students the University wouldn't be raising tuition more than 1 percent each year. For out-of-state students, they will continue to fight for a fair price.

ASU seeks to keep their out-of-state rate around the 50th percentile compared to other universities. “We have worked vigorously in the past few years to reduce financial barriers," he explained.

Another round of budget cuts may be expected at the start of the year. We'll keep an eye on tuition rates for you, but keep Crow's promise in mind as spring rolls around. 

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