When an issue is raised, one cannot expect a community to rise up and make a statement when the issue doesn't affect that community.
Therefore, I do not expect Ball State students to come together and voice a rally cry because of the $1,000 fee under consideration for new students. No one who is now at Ball State would be affected by it, unless they have family members considering Ball State in the near future.
These soon-to-be-students have no one to defend them, so I will at least offer my assistance.
Ball State recently came up about $26 million short in funding from the state last spring. That money has to be made up somehow.
Does that still mean we have to punish students' pocketbooks? This is a lot of money Ball State is asking for. It's not chump-change.
But let's pretend Ball State has no choice but to adopt the fee. These are public funds being used by a public agency. What are they using our money for?
The members of the Ball State Board of Trustees told the DAILY NEWS the fee would be applied toward the university's Strategic Plan. Thanks to them, the answer is clear. Every student knows what the Strategic Plan is.
Again, though, let's pretend. Let's pretend every student on this campus knows what the Strategic Plan is and what it contains. I would still venture to guess there are going to be some questions left over.
The Strategic Plan consists of six goals for the university, and when combined, they can provide a pretty broad idea of where the university wants to go.
Goal one: Ball State University will enhance excellence in undergraduate and graduate learning.
Does this mean the money will go toward studies that will evaluate our curriculum?
Goal two: Ball State University will promote a learning climate that values civility, diversity, multicultural awareness, appreciation of the arts, healthy and productive living and environmental sustainability.
Will the money go toward on-campus living?
Goal three: Ball State University will attract and retain high-quality faculty, professional personnel and staff.
Will Ball State hire more faculty?
Goal four: Ball State University will attain optimal enrollment based on selective admission policies and successful retention programs.
Possibly the money will be used to attract the freshmen who won't want to come here once this fee is put into place?
Goal five: Ball State University will continue to be a best-practice institution in the innovative use of instructional and information technology.
Might more money be going toward technology?
Goal six: Ball State University will broaden, diversify and enrich its relationships beyond the campus.
Maybe the money won't be spent in Muncie?
No matter what the plan is, students should know. The Board of Trustees represents the state, and they are asking for our money. We have every right to know exactly where the money is going, and a broad answer such as, "the Strategic Plan," should not be accepted.
The Board of Trustees knows this.
It's time for them to answer some questions.