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Block the block: Proposed tuition change is unfair for students

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Posted: Thursday, November 4, 2010 12:02 am

Imagine going to a coffee shop, ordering your typical 12-ounce latte and being charged for a 20-ounce drink. The shop doesn’t have room to hold any more wasteful small cups, and the large, which costs a good deal more, will lead to higher profits for the premier coffee institution.

Complaints from parched Gators in need of just a small 12-ounce shot of caffeine, who really just don’t have time to drink an entire 20-ounce latte with all their extracurricular activities and trying to juggle work, will just have to wastfully throw the extra 8 ounces out.

The coffee company has received many complaints and pleas to let its customers buy the Tall mochas, but the complaints have fallen on deaf ears. The coffee giant just doesn’t care what any of its customers say.

But don’t expect these new rules to be seen anywhere else in the state. Nope, you can buy a regular, Tall 12-ounce macchiato anywhere else in the country without the pressure of buying the 20-ounce coffee. But here in Gainesville, 12 ounces just isn’t an option.

The coffee company is at the top of its game in Gainesville, and many other grateful Floridians would be happy to drink its coffee if current Gators don’t want to purchase the Venti drink.

Any ungrateful Gator can go somewhere else. This is just the way it is now.

There are thousands of other people who will gladly take your place in line to pay $7.64 for an oversized coffee that even they probably don’t have time to drink or want to drink.

We’re totally kidding about this whole Starbucks scenario, by the way. You can still wait in a line 30 people deep and fork over an unnecessary amount of money for any sized coffee-ish drink you want. But this scenario is very real for UF students who might face a similar situation come next year.

The Florida Board of Governors, the Florida bigwigs who oversee the state university system, have convened in Gainesville to vote today on whether or not universities can charge students block tuition. Block tuition would charge a flat-rate fee analogous to 15 credits for full-time students regardless if they take 12, 15 or 18 credits.

And while the plan sounds marvelous for those overachievers who take 16 to 18 credits, we know of maybe seven people who actually do that to themselves.

The rest of us, if the Board of Governors votes to approve block tuition, which it’s looking like they will, will be forced to pay for classes we aren’t taking. That is unless you take the university’s not-so-subtle hint that it wants you to get the heck out of here and take the 15 credits you probably don’t have time for.

We might be biased as members of the Editorial Board, who somehow manage a full-time student schedule with essentially full-time jobs providing all your smiling faces with news every day to read on the bus, but implementing a system that would pressure students to take on a bigger course load than they can handle just won’t bode well for our jobs and resume-building activities.

The Board of Governors should listen to the students this policy will affect, the students who have resoundingly united in opposition against such a grossly misguided plan and the students who don’t want to be charged for a Venti when all we want is a tall.

The Board of Governors should vote against block tuition.

Welcome to the discussion.