STUDENTS PLAN STRIKE TO REDUCE COST OF TUITION

IUS Horizon

Levi Groenewold, history junior, spends his days like a typical student. He attends class, writes papers, and studies for exams.
During his downtime, however, he is raising support for an upcoming IU Strike.

The strike, led by a student group at IU Bloomington, called Student Power IU, will take place April 11 through 12 to coincide with the IU board of trustees meeting that day.

Student Power IU’s list of demands include an immediate reduction in tuition, an elimination of all fees, no retaliation for participating in or organizing the strike and for the IU system to make good on their promise to double the enrollment of African-American students to 8 percent.

Groenewold said that student tuition makes up 51 percent of the entire IU budget, while government funding sits at about 18 percent.

He also said that if you look at those same numbers from the ‘90s they would be virtually reversed.

In the past six years, Greoenwold said, tuition has raised 45 percent systemwide.

“If we have a passive student body that doesn’t do anything about this, then tuition will continue to increase,” Groenewold said. “Programs encouraging diversity will get cut more and more if we don’t do something about it.”

Other concerns the student group has are the recent privatization and outsourcing of IU services.

Most recently the IU Bookstore, was outsourced to Barnes and Noble in 2007.

Jeremy Eiler, human resources management sophomore and treasurer for the Student Government Association, said Indiana University’s purchasing policy forces IU Southeast to buy from private vendors in most cases.

“We bought a dry erase board for $800 because we had to use approved vendors,” Eiler said. “Most of the stuff that we save big on, we could buy for the same price at Walmart.”

Eiler said he was confused how the state keeps cutting funding for education when Indiana is one of the few states with a surplus of money and he can sympathize with the strike organizers’ concerns.

There have been no efforts by Student Power IU to reach out to the SGA, Eiler said.

However, Eiler said he supports their right to have a voice.

Groenewold said students interested in the strike can keep an eye out for flyers and watch the bulletin boards for events regarding the strike.

“We can’t do this alone,”Groenewold said. “This strike is about students, teachers and staff standing together for a common purpose.”

By ETHAN FLEMING

Staff

ethflemi@umail.edu