SGA reviews tuition hike by Board of Trustees, accreditation criteria

by Kate Hayden, digital editor

The Board of Trustees voted Friday to comprehensively increase student tuition by 4.25 percent, student body president Ethan Frederick told SGA Wednesday night. Frederick, vice president Sarah Beadle, and member Tyler Stokesbary were present during the vote, and Frederick emphasized the board expected to pass similar tuition hikes in coming years.

“Every student at the board meeting asked the board to begin communicating why these hikes are necessary, and what goal the college has for these hikes,” Fredericks said, adding that President Simmons volunteered to draft communication for the board. The president currently sends communication to students’ homes after a tuition hike, but that does not include explanations of the board’s reasoning.

Beadle and Frederick expect to meet with President Simmons on Monday, and Frederick invited SGA members to share concerns with either of them before the meeting.

Senior president Jessalyn Holdcraft and dean of students Luke Behaunek also presented SGA with a series of criteria Simpson College will need to address during it’s accreditation process next year, including a lack of racial, gender and professional diversity on the Board of Trustees. Simpson had it’s last accreditation review ten years ago.

Other concerns to be addressed and presented during the accreditation process included staff/faculty salaries, which lag behind national and regional levels, and financial support for original faculty research, which could potentially hinder faculty’s academic freedom when teaching in the classroom. Still, Holdcraft said, Simpson is working to address those issues.

“We are not perfect, but we are not falling into shambles,” she said.

“It’s better for us to point out our flaws rather than another group to do it for us,” Behaunek added.