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Volume 72, Issue 97, Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Opinion

Keep this in mind when tuition goes up

Travis Coggin
Guest Commentary 

Things students dislike: searching for parking spots, wading through puddles and paying more tuition. 

While crammed parking lots and ankle-deep puddles lack silver linings, an increase in tuition will provide solutions to these and other discomforts. More tuition dollars will boost pride among students and alumni, increase the number of possibilities available to current and future Cougars, and foster University prosperity.

Consider the new Science and Engineering Research and Classroom Complex, Campus Welcome Center and world-class Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. These projects, as well as future projects, are partially funded by students' tuition and fee dollars. 

The UH master plan includes more learning and living space along with new academic, professional and stadium districts. Increased funding also allows the university to afford much-needed upgrades to the campus infrastructure. These dollars translate to repaired potholes, improved drainage and other similar necessities.

Imagine not having to look over your shoulder when leaving campus at night or not having to lock your car doors while driving down Elgin. If the campus is blanketed with cutting-edge facilities, then it becomes more attractive to area business developers. Improved off-campus housing and additional retail centers are key to a prosperous campus. These improvements will result in a well lighted, densely populated, and all around safer university environment for students. The commuter school stigma will be lifted, and students will enjoy decreased commuter congestion and lower campus crime.

Many students are not aware that their tuition dollars are also used to fund scholarships and financial aid opportunities. Today's increase in tuition provides tomorrow's students with the chance to pursue higher education or conduct groundbreaking research. These dollars help those who are less fortunate with the opportunity to attain a better lifestyle.

With appropriate funding, fellow Cougars will enjoy ample parking and dry socks year-round. Cougar fans will celebrate homecoming in a facility worthy of the 2006 Conference USA Championship football team. Campus study groups will enjoy more study lounges, coffee shops, or establishments such as the new Chili's Too and Sonic. Faculty and students alike will earn the respect of colleagues nationwide when the next Pulitzer or Nobel Prize is awarded to a University of Houston researcher. UH graduates will dominate the job market with confidence and earn the respect of prospective employers.

So, when the great tuition debate heats up again, remember -- spare change spurs big changes.

Coggin, a communication senior, 
can be reached via dccampus@mail.uh.edu

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