Wi-Fi, tuition and a campus expansion: President Crow addresses student concerns at ASU's West campus

Most ASU students have experienced a time when they wished they could voice a complaint or concern directly to President Crow himself. Tuesday evening, students were given that opportunity at the President's Forum at ASU's West campus.

Students brought up concerns related to intercampus shuttle Wi-Fi networks, tuition increases and plans for upgrading the West campus.

Global management freshman Andrew Miller raised concerns for the president's proposal for tuition increase during the 2016-17 school year. 

"As students, we've all been hearing about a tuition increase lately, and I'm just wondering where that money will go," Miller said.

Crow said the tuition increases are working to make up for lost investment in past years, but as he has said in previous events, they are trying to keep the prices relatively low.

"We promised four years ago that we wouldn't increase tuition more than 3 (percent) per year on any given year," Crow said. "We are hopeful that that can be the case for as long as six years."

Crow also addressed the difference in increases between in-state and out-of-state tuitions. He said the goal for in-state tuitions is to keep it at a modest tuition with high financial aid. The goal for out-of-state tuition is to remain average, staying around the 50th percentile of out-of-state tuitions around the country.

ASU's tuition is currently about one fifth of the price of the University of Southern California's tuition, and Crow said the gradual tuition increases are a way to bring ASU's staff and facilities up to that scale while maintaining a relatively low tuition.

"We want people not dropping out, and we definitely don't want people dropping out for financial reasons," Crow said. "We understand the need for financial need personally. If you have an issue, you need to come back to the financial aid counselors so we can figure something out."

Transborder Chicana/o and Latina/o studies sophomore Paula Hernandez brought up the Wi-Fi on the shuttles, another commonly discussed issue among students.

"I know I speak for most ASU students when I say that the advertised free Wi-Fi on the shuttles hardly ever works," Hernandez said.

Crow said he empathized with the issue and that it is something he has been working on for a while.

"I have been complaining over and over about getting a bus contractor to get our Wi-Fi fixed," Crow said. "They're in the process of trying to deal with this."

He said that with over 20 people on the Wi-Fi at once, the bandwidth becomes overwhelmed and that slows down or stops the Wi-Fi connection. The goal is to increase the shuttles' bandwidths to allow for easier connections for all students on board.

Biology junior Savannah Farley also expressed concerns about future plans for expansions at the West campus.

"I have called this campus my home for the past three years, and I love the quaint vibe and green scenery you get here at West," Farley said. "I'm just curious to see how they plan to expand upon it without taking that away."

Crow said the goal for updates on the West campus is to keep the small community feel of the West campus while also utilizing more of the space and increasing the functionality of the campus as a whole.

"We want the New College to be about twice the size that it is now, and we want to make sure that there are lots of other majors offered here," Crow said. "We want many more degree programs here, as well as a larger New College."

Related links:

Michael Crow discusses future goals for ASU at State Capitol

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

Reach the reporter at aegeland@asu.edu or follow @alexisegeland on Twitter.

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