Depaul Tuition Increase Public Forum
Friday, March 9, 4:30pm to 7:30 pm
Student Center, 2250 N. Sheffield Ave
Event Page: http://www.facebook.com/events/323299204394973/
OccupyDepaul and Depaul Anti-Capitalist Coalition Call for University-wide Discussion of Administration's Tuition Increases
Chicago, Illinois -- A wide coalition of Depaul students invite all students, faculty, staff, and administration to attend an open forum on the tuition increases announced by the university yesterday. For the 2012-2013 school year, tuition will increase 2.5% for current undergraduate students, 5.2% for new undergraduate students, and at variable rates for all graduate students. The tuition increases come amidst the worst economic crisis that most students have ever experienced, and at a time when the average graduating undergraduate at Depaul leaves with over $28,000 in student debt, and the average graduate student with $51,000. In total, in the last seven years alone, tuition rates at Depaul have increased 35%, well over the 14.02% inflation of the same time period, according to the U.S. Bureau and Labor Statistics.
The administration, including President Father Holtschneider and the Board of Trustees passed the tuition hikes despite repeated and insistent demands that an open forum be held before the vote of the Board of Trustees. Students came to Father Holtschneider's office to demand that student concerns be heard before the vote, two rallies were held on campus, and an open letter was circulated to the administration detailing the untenability of raising tuition. Students were never given a clear, open, or transparent way to comment on the Board's budget. When a contingent of students sought to attend the Board's meeting to speak on behalf of the growing number of students who will not be able to afford the tuition increase, the Board of Trustees unilaterally moved the location of the meeting, shutting out the students, and refusing to hear the clear and reasoned arguments against increasing tuition.
Students maintain that both the tuition hikes themselves as well as the exclusive process by which they were passed contradicts the Vincentian mission of the University which recalls that "the Vincentians valued philanthropy and access for everyone." Increasing tuition yet again will make Depaul less accessible for middle-class and low-income individuals as well as minorities. It is also clear that this process has only decreased student access to information, decisions about university policies, and the ear of the administration.
In light of these facts, DePaul students feel it is vital that a public forum occur to give voice to those who were excluded from the administrative process, and given the opportunity to articulate our sentiments and grievances. As the administrations own Strategic Resource Allocation documents confirm, Depaul's operations are the most tuition-based in the country, meaning that while other universities rely heavily on endowments, donations, investments, and other sources of revenue, Depaul brings in the vast majority of its revenue through tuition. This means that the University's operations are possible only by virtue of the students, and yet students are the very people excluded from the deliberative process of how their money and their debt will be used.
The open forum will take place on Friday, March 9 from 4:30pm to 7:30 pm at the Student Center on the Lincoln Park Campus, located at 2250 N. Sheffield Ave., Chicago, IL. All students, staff, faculty, family members, alumni, and allies are warmly encouraged to attend. Forum organizers have repeatedly contacted the administration and Father Holtschneider to invite them to the forum, but as of the time of this release, have received no response.