Cortez Whatley Wins Fight To Hike UCF Tuition Amid Student BacklashAcademics, Beyond UCF, Business, Economy, News, Tuition, UCF Administration, UCF SGA, Videos — By Staff on June 21, 2012 at 11:26 am Tweet
UPDATE 4:20 pm: Whatley succeeded in his fight to hike UCF’s tuition by 15 percent. The board ended up changing its mind and approving UCF’s hike after initially denying it.
UPDATE: UCF’s 15 percent tuition hike failed the full BOG vote this afternoon, despite aggressive efforts by Whatley to support the maximum amount. Negotiations for a lower hike are now ongoing. Live video on our homepage.
There’s a major fight unfolding right now over whether tuition will be hiked again — and the sides people are taking may come as a surprise.
UCF Student Body President Cortez Whatley is among those leading the fight to hike college tuition, while Gov. Rick Scott is leading the fight against it. Scott even came to UCF to speak out against the hikes on Wednesday.
KnightNews.com hired a crew in Tallahassee to catch up with Scott about why he thinks tuition does not need to be hiked. See what he said below:
Whatley, who serves as the student representative on the state panel that oversees state universities known as the Florida Board of Governors, fought against board members trying to prevent tuition hikes at a committee meeting this morning.
“I do feel this is tough on the families, but we have to be pro education and look at the long term,” Whatley said during a four minute speech he gave supporting a motion to recommend approving all the requested tuition hikes. That motion soon after passed by a vote of 7-2.
Whatley’s fight in support of the tuition hikes, which he believes are needed, came as two other board members spoke out strongly against the tuition hikes. Whatley suggested universities can’t operate like a business because “businesses fail, that’s what happens in business.” Whatley went on to say no one wants the institutions to fail.
Successful businessman and board member Morteza “Mori” Hosseini pointed out that, if approved, Florida tuition will have been hiked 74 percent over the past few years — a number he said was much too high during the recession where Florida families are losing jobs.
Another businessman and board member, Norman D. Tripp, agreed.
“I think with all the reports showing the economy is not strengthening, it’s going down, that to increase the cost of an education at this point makes no sense,” Tripp said, adding, he was “just flustered” by the arguments being made to hike tuition.
UCF students following the fight to hike tuition and fees, which would pay for things including a new robotic library, are sounding off on KnightNews.com’s Facebook page.
Bryan Maune posted: “When I am low on money, I cut back spending on what I WANT so that I can focus on what I NEED. We the students don’t NEED a library renovation right now, we don’t NEED a robot to get our books, and we don’t NEED extravagant parties and events. What we do NEED is a good education. So stop charging us more while you spend our money on things we don’t need UCF. We NEED a good education and that is it.
An example of extravagant parties and events Maune may have been referring to include a controversial nearly $10,000 red carpet style party UCF held to honor SGA members like Whatley — paid for by the student dime.
Parents of new students KnightNews.com talked to also said they are against the tuition hikes. See video we shot of parents below.
The committee voted 7-2 to recommend the full board approve the tuition hikes during the 1:30 p.m. public meeting held in UCF’s Live Oak Center, near the Marketplace, this afternoon. KnightNews.com will update you on what the full board decides, and you can watch the meeting live on the KnightNews.com homepage.