Tuition changes announced

Portland State University is looking to change or eliminate its current tuition plateau of 12 to 18 units.

Cathy Dyck, associate vice president of finance and administration, announced these plans to the ASPSU senate at their weekly meeting yesterday.

The university is considering narrowing the plateau so that instead charging a flat tuition rate for 12 to 18 units, the flat rate would be applied to a smaller range of units, such as 12 to 15.

Dyck said the administration is also considering eliminating the plateau entirely and charging all students per unit.

Part of the reason the university has been reevaluating the plateau is to take into consideration what sort of academic load students should be taking. There are concerns that students are taking 18 units because they can do so for the same price as taking 12 units, but that such a course load is too much for most students.

Dyck also addressed concerns regarding student housing raised by Sen. Maude Bowman at the last senate meeting.

Bowman felt that a survey sent out to the Ondine residents by the senate’s housing committee raised unnecessary concerns.

Sen. Dimitris Desyllas organized and sent out the survey and is worried that the university will make more changes to the Ondine without consulting the students in advance.

Dyck said the only changes being made to the Ondine this year is the conversion of the seventh floor from the New Student Program to the Freshmen Year Experience program.

She assured that no additional changes will be made until fall 2004 and promised to put that in writing for the senate.

The senate passed a motion to retract the survey and send Dyck’s written confirmation out to the residents of the Ondine building.

In other business, the senate passed a motion to support a letter written by the PSU chapter of MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztl퀌�n), asking the mayor to increase police accountability in response to the shooting of Mejia Poot two years ago.

Their biggest concern is that the two officers who shot Poot were recently awarded medals of honor by Portland Police Chief Kroeker, and part of the letter asks the mayor to request Kroeker’s resignation.

Some senators felt the request was out of line.

Sen. Shariyar Smith commented that while hindsight is 20-20, police officers do not have the benefit of hindsight while they are working in the field.

“I reject this wholesale,” Smith said. “It’s disgusting.”

Sen. Jesse Shapiro did not think that the goals the letter listed were realistic, but expressed his support for its message nonetheless.

The motion to support the letter passed eleven to three.

Also in other business, Sen. Joe Johnson presented a proposal on behalf of Sen. Michael-Sean Kelley, which would send an e-mail of support to the troops fighting in Iraq from the senate.

Johnson emphasized that the e-mail does not support the war, only the people who are fighting in Iraq, including PSU students.

The e-mail thanks the soldiers for their service and expresses hope for their speedy and safe return.

Desyllas showed concern about the e-mail because of his strong opposition of the war. He feels that the American soldiers are killing innocent Iraqi children and mentioned sarcastically including hopes that they would stop this in the e-mail.

However, most senators expressed enthusiastic support for the e-mail, regardless of their feelings about the war.

“I, too, am completely against this war,” Sen. Kara MacKillop said, “but I don’t think these people (the soldiers) have any say in it. I would support this.”

The senate will vote whether or not to send the e-mail to the troops at their next meeting.