Where are the Voices?: Montclair State’s Annual Tuition Hearing

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Published April 13, 2018
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The Montclarion
Sunah Choudhry I The Montclarion

The annual tuition hearing is an opportunity for students to raise their voices regarding how much they pay to attend Montclair State University. However, as of this Tuesday, the hearing only received nine comments for the announcement via email. Montclair State has more commuter students than dormers, so it is understandably more difficult to get a large amount of students to engage. Montclair State has a lot of room for improvement.

This is not an issue that can be hefted solely on the administration or students, but both. As a commuter school, students should make it their priority to involve themselves on campus. The easiest and most readily available way of doing this is by reading through the school emails. Student Life at Montclair (SLAM), HawkSync and even professors email students information about campus events on a regular basis.

For the tuition hearing, administration sent out three emails to students, one on April 4 and April 9 as well as one that was sent 15 minutes before the hearing. The emails included the time and date of the hearing. An email address was also provided for students to send comments to if they cannot get to the hearing on time.

On the flip side, however, administration also can afford to utilize more of the tools at their disposal. For the tuition hearing, officials sent out emails and included an ad in the previous issue of the newspaper. This was a great idea and would have made for strong jumping off points for social media promotion.

Another means of spreading the word could have been placing a link to a Twitter poll or promoting the hearing on Instagram. For future promotions, perhaps having students help promote events or hearings would increase turnout as well. In addition, having organizations like the radio station, campus newspaper and the student government promoting through physical flyers or ads as well as online platforms could have made a huge difference. With the backbone of student life on campus participating in the promotion, more students might have engaged and gone to the hearing.

While some students choose to not get involved with campus activities, campus politics is extremely important. Students have the opportunity to change their experiences at school and make a difference for future Montclair State students in years to come. It is one thing to merely complain about the problems at school, but another to take action.

Attending events like the annual tuition hearing is vital in understanding the important process, which is the rising cost of tuition every year. Students can use this opportunity as a platform to voice their disagreements, general opinions and recommendations. It is part of what makes the student body capable of more than just being on the sidelines, and it creates more effective and meaningful connections between students and administration.

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