Questions About UCF’s Massive Reserves Unanswered in Wake of Tuition HikesPolitics, Tuition, UCF SGA — By Jacob Sadowsky on November 1, 2012 at 8:47 pm Tweet
No matter how hard UCF SGA President Cortez Whatley tries to shift student focus onto his initiatives, he hasn’t been able to shake the scrutiny of his decision to hike tuition the maximum amount possible.
A Student Government forum on Wednesday, which was meant to acknowledge student concerns and updates within SGA, was met with outraged students who felt that Whatley’s decision to hike tuition 15% was unnecessary due to UCF’s large reserves.
Students questioned Whatley about raising tuition the maximum amount instead of using UCF’s reported $125 million in reserve funds to cover the one time $50 million budget cut to the university. When asked about the reserve system, however, Whatley was uncertain of the details surrounding the fund.
“It’s more so funding that just hasn’t been spent yet, but in most cases contractual agreements to be spent…I don’t know exactly what the money is there to be spent on but I do know there are financial obligations tied to the majority of it…” said Whatley.
One student even went so far as to say that Whatley’s decision to hike tuition without knowing all of the facts behind the reserve system shows “gross incompetence.”
At a legislative session earlier this year, Florida Senator Don Gaetz told SGA students protesting the one time budget cuts throughout the state university system that the cuts would not affect student life and operations at the institutions, but were merely a way to “draw down their reserves, reserves that belong to the public.”
Whatley in direct contrast however, states that without the 15% tuition hikes, majors and other academic life would be disrupted. “Without the increase, we would have been looking at losing programs this fall, particularly programs in the social sciences, most likely, the liberal arts, the arts…” said Whatley.
A member of SLAP, Student Labor Action Project, told us that he believed it was Whatley’s duty to stand up for the student voice and find some sort of middle ground between the budget cuts, tuition hikes and large reserve fund.
“As the student representative, didn’t he have a duty to speak up for students in both his capacities where he does have real power…” he said.
For more information about the SGA updates and what was said at the meeting, click here.