Pay attention, or you'll be paying up
It's as simple as A-B-C.
"A" -- the then-new Administration of interim UH President Glenn Goerke dropped the ball when they first came on board in August 1995.
While Texas A&M and the University of Texas raised their General Use Fee in increments, Goerke, UH Provost Jack Ivancevich and Vice Presidents Glenn Freedman and James Hale were busy spending more than $300,000 to remodel offices that would be their temporary homes until August 1997.
Goerke said the renovations would help the executives function more efficiently. Well, it certainly hasn't helped them efficiently reorganize UH's academic deficiencies, or efficiently eliminate the $4.3 million Athletics Department deficit, or efficiently fill the vacancies caused by college deans who were suddenly stricken with the "let-me-out-of-here" disease.
No, the only thing Goerke and Co. are efficient at right now is in identifying a segment of the UH community from whom they can bleed money with the fewest immediate repercussions -- the teeming, unwashed masses -- the most helpless and under-represented: the student body.
The administration held a forum on the fee increase after giving students about 10 hours notice. No one showed up.
Tuesday, they held a second forum. Once again, Goerke and Co. published no formal announcement until the morning of the meeting. Then, students who suggested alternatives to the $18-per-semester-credit-hour raise, or who asked questions, were summarily and abrasively rebuked by Ivancevich.
The final opportunity for students to voice their opinions will be Monday, March 18, at 6 p.m. in the University Center Underground's World Affairs Lounge. Goerke and Co. probably hope students will forget about the fee raise over Spring Break. Once the third meeting is held, the administration can move on to "B" -- the UH System Board of Regents.
The regents have the final word on approving the fee increase. They will likely do exactly that unless they hear a strong voice of dissension from UH students. The regents will meet Tuesday, March 12, and then again, Monday, April 1.
Now, "C" -- communication.
We weren't too surprised Thursday when we randomly polled UH students about the fee increase. Just as we expected, many didn't know about it, and many didn't realize how much it was going to cost them.
READ THIS CAREFULLY: It will cost $294 MORE in the fall to take 15 hours of classes as an undergraduate. That's not much to someone with a six-figure salary, but it's a big deal to most college students.
Students must COMMUNICATE their dissatisfaction to the Board of Regents, to state senators and representatives and to other students who aren't aware of the ramifications of the fee increase.
It's as simple as A-B-C -- speak up, or pay up. It's up to you.