Your Price, Your Rights

Cartoon by Julie Gundersen.
Cartoon by Julie Gundersen.
Cartoon by Julie Gundersen.

In a few month’s time, a new state budget will be released by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Within that budget, SUNY will be given a certain amount of money which will then be divided among each of the SUNY schools.

Vice President for Finance and Administration Michelle Halstead said it’s likely New Paltz will be given a $1.6 million budget for the 2014-15 academic year. This would call for a similar budget to the one given for the current academic year, meaning the school would have very little from the future budget to invest in future projects.

We at The New Paltz Oracle would like to take  time in this editorial, not to illustrate what the budget is all about, but instead to encourage students to make the effort to understand the budget and how it can affect you and future students for years to come.

We’re at the point of the semester where all of us, as students, are a bit burned out and tired of the semester. A phrase we often hear is “my tuition dollars don’t pay for this,” accompanied by any other frustrations regarding construction projects or other expenses.

While this may be nothing more than a derivative of the frustration suffered from a seemingly overwhelming amount of finals, it does raise concerns for us here at The Oracle.

For the past several years, we have heard students complain about their tuition dollars going to construction projects such as the Atrium, the Wooster Science Building renovation and the not-yet-confirmed Park Point Housing project. Despite countless articles on each, where we outline how these projects are financed, it is still a common source of confusion for students.

As students, we make a sort of transaction when we pay for our education. We agree to pay for professors and the facilities we use. And, as with any business transaction, it’s important for a buyer to understand why they are paying certain amounts.

To their credit, our administration offers plenty of tools and opportunities to learn and understand the budget. We’re a student body that deserves transparency from our administration and this is an area where they certainly deliver.

With budget forums and several pages on that illustrate the budget process, it is clear that the administration is doing everything they can to make sure the student body understands where their tuition dollars are going to go.

We commend the efforts of administration and student leaders to help better the understanding of our campus community on these issues. We encourage our  fellow classmates to keep up with the stories, to use the  tools provided and to seek new information at every opportunity.

The more educated we are as a student body, the better. After all, we get what we pay for.