By Christian Cullen, Guest Writer
Imagine you had a pretty close friend. One day, they come and ask for $20. You’re both good friends, so you give them the money. Every so often they ask for more money, and it increases over time. Then, one day you decide to ask where your money is going. You would like to know, wouldn’t you? After all, you worked hard for it and entrusted it to your friend. But they don’t tell you. They don’t seem to be very keen on showing you where they spend their money. Which is fair, when it’s not your money. However, they won’t even tell you what they spent your money on. I would imagine you’d feel frustrated. Likely angry as well. Well, within this vignette, your friend is Xavier University.
Last month, the student body received an email detailing that tuition would be raised for the second consecutive year. However much our tuition is raised is less relevant than the question of where the money would be going. By being a student, I have paid to be here. I have a vested interest in the continuation of the Xavier community, just as Xavier has a vested interest me attending(and more importantly paying) Xavier. But, there are certain aspects of this financial relationship that just do not sit right. No campus is perfect, and it costs money to fix issues at Xavier. It costs money to pay staff, maintain buildings and provide money for clubs. But the normal student does not see all of this but instead must trust the University has allocated their money well. If I pay to attend Xavier, should I not have the right to know if my money is going towards\ improving my education? Or would I instead see that I have helped pay for a new athletic facility? Has my money gone toward improving the on-campus experience, or has it gone toward endeavors improvethe Xavier experience?
The tuition increase continues to raise questions about Xavier’s commitment to inclusivity. The school uses the marker “All for One, One for All” in most of its advertising, so it is peculiar to see them not living by it. Xavier’s community is made up of its students, not of the amounts in our Bursar accounts. I understand at the end of the day Xavier is a business. President Hancyz has budgets to meet and obligations to fulfill. But you do not get to frame yourself as a school focused on inclusivity in all walks of life and not make it as easy as possible to attend. At the end of the day, any increase in tuition will make it harder for a potential student to attend Xavier. By increasing our tuition, we are limiting our potential student body, our potential community. So, this tuition increase had better be worth it.
It should not be a complex answer about why Xavier needs more money. There are two possible situations. Either Xavier knows why they need the tuition increase (which would lead them to ask us), which makes it easy for them to tell the student population; or they do not know why they need more money but are asking for it anyways, which is incredibly irresponsible. It should neither be a complicated answer to receive nor a ridiculous question for us to ask when it comes to expenditure of funds. This tuition increase is also questionable considering the bounty of donations given to the school in the last few years. If the University needs more of my money, then it should not be difficult for them to tell me what they need it for. I am sure there is a perfectly reasonable explanation as to why Xavier needs more money. I just want them to tell the student body what it is.