Politics of Tuition Increases

Harold Pettigrew talks about how, during NC State Board of Trustees discussions on tuition increases, he as the Student Body President had to balance the needs of the university with representing the student perspective.

Interview on 2012-11-02


00:00:00.000 I don't know if there was a defining issue that year. Well what I started to see toward the end of the term, however-
00:00:16.553 and these issues came up after my term-that continual environment of tuition increases, so that's perhaps always the toughest area to truly deal with.
00:00:28.164 You hear the needs of the university, you're hearing the case, and ultimately it's, we want to charge you more for this,
00:00:37.948 and everything I just mentioned about the Wolfpack Student Initiative, the basis of that was financial need. So there was always this push and pull,
00:00:48.919 which I'm sure the current students are dealing with right now. Whether it was increasing student fees or tuition there was always this environment
00:00:56.424 of balance, or a push and pull so to say, between what are the true needs of the university and how can we make a truly informed decision
00:01:05.969 without undermining the ability of students to make a difference? Generally the balancing act for us as student leaders
00:01:17.052 was not to simply let passion drive a discussion but to have it be very rational dialogue, very professional dialogue quite frankly,
00:01:25.694 for the university not to simply take for granted we're students, we'll be here only for a couple years. They have to have a longer term approach,
00:01:32.601 and for us they're trying to charge us more; I can't afford it and my friends can't afford it. So there was always that push and pull,
00:01:40.381 but just making sure they understood we were very invested and informed about the topics and that our opinions certainly should not be taken for granted.
00:01:52.255 So particularly at the board of trustee level, being the student representing thirty thousand students so to say, it was always that, at least for me,
00:02:07.160 that central perspective, to make sure that they knew the mature perspective I was bringing to the table
00:02:14.468 and that we would have a very informed dialogue about any of those types of decisions.