Allowing University of Texas System institutions to independently increase tuition was one of the major topics discussed
during this month’s UT System Student Advisory Council meeting in Austin.
More than 20 student representatives met Sept. 11 and 12 for the first UTSSAC meeting of the academic year. They also
discussed student concerns for their individual institutions such as the campus carry law, maternity leave and daycare programs
for students, transfer scholarships, campus safety and student health insurance rates.
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley representatives on the council are Student Government Association President
Alberto Adame and Kathryn Brough, a public relations and marketing junior.
The Legislative and Financial Affairs Committee, which Adame chairs, weighed the tuition proposal.
“Students at many, at most, institutions that are academic want those increases because they want to fund additional
activities,” Adame said in a telephone interview with The Rider last Tuesday. “They want the fees to increase so they can
accommodate more students, they can help out more students and they can see their services increase.”
Students in other system schools passed tuition referendums but they were rejected by the board of regents, Adame said.
“Even if the student bodies were behind it and the community was behind it,they were just denying everything,” he said about
the board of regents.
During the meeting, student representatives presented issues on their campuses.
Adame and Brough presented problems that the consolidation of UT Pan American and UT Brownsville has brought.
“The transition has been shaky, hasn’t been great for everyone,” Brough said, adding that students reported having problems
with services at both campuses. “A lot of students were having trouble with financial aid and the paperwork getting lost. …
Another one was the differences between the campuses, especially in smoking policies. They’ve been having two different policies
for years and now we’re going to incorporate that into one.”
Issues presented at the UTSSAC meeting were based on concerns students voiced through social media.
“We used a lot of social media, a lot of the complaints and we also took a look at, naturally, what were the combinations, you
know, we are two campuses getting together,” Adame said.
Criminal justice corrections senior Isabel Moreno, said one of her fears during the transition was having her classes dropped.
“That was one of my main concerns,” Moreno said. “I was thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, what if that happens to me?’ I was asking
about it and it has happened to the students that their classes get canceled the last minute or they have a different professor.”
Students with concerns about UTRGV may email Adame at firstname.lastname@example.org or Brough at
email@example.com. The next UTSSAC meeting will take place Nov. 14 in Austin.