Tulane students vote for HIGHER tuition to support 'marginalized' students
Members of the group that authored the bill accused the university itself of being "anti-black."
The undergraduate student government at Tulane University passed a resolution to roughly double student fees in order to "support black students and other students from marginalized communities."
The university has said that it will "study" the resolution.
Student government leaders at Tulane University in New Orleans resolved last week to charge themselves and their peers an extra $240 each in order to support programs focusing on "marginalized" students on campus, with a particular focus on black students.
The legislation for the "equity fee" requires that each student's cost to attend the college increase by $240. The funds will be used to "to support black students and other students from marginalized communities."
Currently, Tulane lists the cost of "tuition and fees" for freshman students during the 2020-2021 academic year as $58,850.
A Black student group called Les Griot Violets drafted the bill, naming several departments and offices that would be beneficiaries of the fees, including the university's Center for Academic Equity and the Office of Gender & Sexual Diversity. Proposed use of the funds includes tuition grants and study abroad scholarships for "marginalized" students.
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During the student senate meeting preceding the vote to establish the fee, Les Griot Violets member Kamiya Stewart clarified the group's motivation for the proposal by accusing the university of exhibiting institutionalized racism.
"So what were are saying is that Tulane, is anti-black," said Stewart. "We’re also saying that Tulane is not equitable. Equity as it pertains to race is when race can no longer be used to predict life outcomes, and outcomes for all groups are improved."
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The dollar amount for the fee was chosen because it is roughly the same amount that students already pay in regular student fees.
"I want to remind that you that the Riley renovation cost us $68 million, and students pay that bill through the recreation fee," student senator Deja Wells said when trying to justify doubling students' fees.
Tulane executive director of public relations Mike Strecker told student newspaper Tulane Hullabaloo that the university plans to "study this resolution and its potential impact on [the] student body."
"In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t just for black students, we are uplifting black students in this effort, but this isn’t just for black students, it effectively helps all students," Wells said.
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