Student Government Holds Rally To Fight Tuition Misappropriation

Posted: February 8, 2002 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Joseph J. Urban, III

Student Government (SG) organized a rally yesterday to gather support from the George Mason community to fight Gov. Mark Warner’s suggestion to increase college tuition and use that increase for the General Fund first, instead of education. The support would come in the form of petitions calling for legislation that would keep tuition dollars in the universities. SG President Bennett Smith plans on personally delivering those petitions next week to the governor’s office; Senator John Chichester, chair of Senate Finance Committee; Delegate Vincent Callahan, Jr., chair of House Appropriation Committee; and Delegate James Dillard, II, chair of the House Education Committee.

Several hundred students and a number of media outlets were present in the Johnson Center yesterday, including The Washington Post, News Channel 8, and The Associated Press. The rally resulted in nearly 300 petition signatures.


Smith called Warner’s proposal a “brain tax,” and suggested that George Mason will end up losing quality professors if money meant for the university is paid first into the General Fund, on top of cuts already proposed for education.

“To win this battle against the deficit, let’s start by attacking the wasteful spending, not attacking higher education,” said Smith. “Our faculty members are one of our greatest assets here at GMU. If we lose their service as a result of this scheme, it won’t just be our education that suffers, but the value of our degrees.”

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