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State’s student leaders meeting to discuss priorities

Student leaders from Florida’s 11 public universities will meet today and Friday at the USF Alumni Center to discuss matters concerning student tuition raises and other legislative items affecting students next year.

Student body President Frank Harrison, who chairs the Florida Student Association, said the group would vote on a legislative agenda Friday. The meeting is free and open to all students.

Some of the more important issues the FSA will advocate include keeping a low tuition rate and preserving the Bright Futures program, said Mike Fischer, executive director of FSA.

“It’s one of our most important meetings of the year,” Fischer said. “We will be talking about all kinds of issues in higher education.”

Last week, the Florida Board of Governors met at USF and decided to postpone a decision on whether to raise tuition by 7 percent. BOG representatives said they would be meeting with students before making a decision at a Nov. 16 meeting at the University of West Florida.

Fischer said one of FSA’s goals is to have BOG leaders provide reasoning as to why tuition would be raised, and what students would be getting in return.

“When someone tells us that they’re going to raise tuition, at least tell us why,” Fischer said. “There’s got to be a good reason behind any tuition hike that’s talked about.”

After the FSA meeting, Fischer said the group would send a “white sheet” with a list of priorities to state legislatures and other media outlets sometime in late November.