DS View: Guts

Student Senate ties in tuition cap with “One Stop Shop” bill, university cannot submit to demands.

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Balls.

That’s what UND Student Senate had when it took a hard stand on the rising cost of tuition, pinning the university with the promise — or threat — of providing nearly $2 million for construction of a new “One Stop Shop” in the Memorial Union as long as tuition doesn’t increase more than the state-approved 3.72 percent.

In seemingly typical style for Americanized-government, senate has tied together two only vaguely related issues — construction of the One Stop Shop and tuition caps — in an attempt to bang its way into a political win.

Also, in typical Americanized-government style, senate seems to have directed its attention toward the wrong people — strong arming university officials instead of the State Board of Higher Education, which actually has the power to decide and enforce tuition caps.

What’s worse, UND President Robert Kelley has rejected senate’s proposal like your body rejects late night Mexican food after a night out. Instead, Kelley and his corp of upper-ranking UND officials will look for alternative places to find the money, although students and UND community members have been warned other solutions may not be ideal.

If they find the money, plans for construction of the One Stop Shop — which is slated to begin this academic year — will move forward.

If not, construction on the new space could be delayed. If the needed cash can’t be located, the project will be shut down quicker than you can say “Congress.”

Senate now finds itself in a precarious position. It can either hold firm to the stance taken in Sunday’s bill — risking the One Stop Shop and student convenience — or it can pull out and retract the tuition cap requirement — risking its dignity and authority as a governing body.

Bottom line, Student Senate is facing a governing walk of shame unless it somehow finds a way to regain the upper hand in what risks becoming little more than an embarrassment.

We, The Dakota Student editorial board, commend Student Government on taking action. Potentially misguided action, sure, but action nonetheless. And compared to the stagnant presence of previous senates — this one included until very recently — even misguided action serves as a pleasant reminder that the UND student body is electing people, not just reaffirming titles.

For now, all we can hope is that the process of getting and funding this One Stop Shop is just as good for senate as it is for the students.

For now, it seems like there will, somehow, be a One Stop Shop built in the Memorial Union, and we’ll be left with an administration asking, “Was it as good for you as it was for us?”

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