Editorial: A trustee for the students

Editorial: A trustee for the students

A panel of student leaders will soon pick a new fellow student to serve on the board of trustees.

The next student trustee must be equally wary and hopeful.

UVM is making large strides.

There’s a new push to update and expand our athletic facilities, a massive project.

The Housing Master Plan will transform the housing facilities and by extension the undergraduate experience for first-years and sophomores.

Additionally, the STEM Initiative, the largest building project in the history of the University totalling $100 million, was approved.

The project will construct an impressive facility that renews focus on the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics — fields that are no doubt vital to the success of the 21st century economy.

In spite of these historic projects, we receive less money from the state than ever before.

In 1975, more than 20 percent of UVM’s total budget came from the state. Now, it’s fewer than 9 percent.

We’re in the top ranks of the most expensive public universities in the country and our students are taking on more debt every year to pay for an education.

Too many students rely on  financial aid.

For out-of state-students, tuition and room and board are almost $50,000.

The University needs to ensure it’s selling an education that will be worth that cost in the long run.

Only a student trustee would be personally affected by the price of a UVM education.

These problems are common in higher education.

The cost of college has increased faster than the combined costs of food and health care — but that doesn’t mean we have our hands tied.

Major projects like the STEM Initiative and the Housing Master Plan must be checked by relentless concern for the interests of students who are unable or unwilling to speak for themselves.

The responsibility falls on students to stay informed as well.

In a previous editorial, the Cynic pointed out that the most recent board of trustees meeting was poorly attended by students.

Apathy toward the broad range of issues that the board addresses hurts students more than non-student members of the board.

The next student trustee must have the courage to reject apathy and ask the tough questions.

So students, if you are concerned about these important issues, take the opportunity to join the board so that you can solve them.