Editorial: BRC leads the way

When the committee faced with the task of increasing tuition looks to make a decision concerning next year and the possibility of making college even more expensive, they would do well to examine a seemingly docile committee that greatly affects Northeastern students: the Budget Review Committee (BRC).

Last night, the BRC decided to sustain the Student Activities Fee (SAF) at $109. This decision comes on the tails of the BRC’s recent struggles, which included cutting $115,000 in programming requests for the most recent funding period. The SGA committee is responsible for budgeting out SAF money for events to student groups across campus, including the Council for University Programs who arranges Springfest.

While a few dollars added onto the fee might not seem like a big deal, especially if it leads to another exciting performance by Teddy Geiger or a can’t-miss presentation by Danny Glover, the fee is symbolic. The SAF is the only fee on your tuition bill left soley in the hands of students.

Raising the fee, especially above the rate of inflation, would have sent the message to the Fiscal Advisory Committee (FAC) that students would welcome an increase in tuition, and FAC should use its full power to make that change when given the chance. After all, if the students don’t mind charging themselves a few percent above inflation, the FAC should feel free to do the same. But when the FAC is considering raising tuition a few percent, they are not talking about a few bucks here and there, but more like a few hundred or even thousand dollars, which is not exactly the kind of money the typical Northeastern student wants tacked onto his or her bill.

The BRC took the opportunity to set an example and ran with it. This was an opportunity to send a clear message to the university that students are tired of graduating six feet in debt. Students are tired of sitting idly by while the cost of an education builds around them. Students are tired, and we have had quite enough.

With increasingly active clubs requesting more money, the BRC faces the possibility of having to cut programs in order to balance the budget. The committee finances everything from club T-shirts to guest speaker fees, and it is an important job. Even when facing the possibility of reducing programs enjoyed by the student body, the BRC took a stance against the multitude of fees the average student pays.

The committee made sure university administrators understand undergraduates are serious about cutting the cost of going to college. It was an important stance, but whether the FAC will pay attention remains to be seen. What is certain, however, is the FAC has an obligation to consider the burden it places on students by increasing tuition. Through the BRC, the students have made it loud and clear it is time for a change, and FAC, it is your turn.

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