February 22, 2005
It's up to the students (again)
By Josh Healey
Three weeks ago, UW-Madison student leaders delivered more than 5,000 signatures to Governor Doyle calling on him to lower tuition, increase diversity programs, add classes, and support UW employees with good contracts. The governor’s response, on February 8, was a budget that proposes to hike tuition another 14 percent (more than $800). That would be a 56 percent increase ($2,200) over the last four years! Doyle is also freezing funding to scholarships for low-income students and students of color, and looking to outsource UW janitors’ good, union jobs.
Just as bad, legislators’ aides told students last week that Chancellor Wiley has been lobbying for higher tuition behind our backs. Wiley had publicly presented himself as supporting students’ demands for the state to reinvest in the UW, but privately it seems he wants students to pony up even more—so that he can get a bigger bonus, no doubt.
So it is up to us – students, our families, and concerned community members – to tell the state legislators (especially the members of the Joint Finance Committee, which is now reviewing the budget) to open the doors of the UW to students of ALL incomes, races, and backgrounds: Join us at the UW Students’ Statewide Rally to “Save Our System” (S.O.S.), this Thursday, February 24, at noon, on the State Street corner of the Capitol.
Students are coming from all over the state for this rally, from UW-Milwaukee to UW-Eau Claire to UW-Marathon County, and 10 other UW campuses. The only time in the last 30 years when students got a tuition freeze was in 1999, when UW-Madison students led a 1,500-person walk out and march to the Capitol. It has been done, and we can do it again.
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