President Edward Ayers' Chief of Staff Lori Schuyler presented the proposed strategic plan to the newly elected Westhampton College Government Association Wednesday night.
"A strategic plan forces you to see how you are going to prioritize your time, how you are going to prioritize your energy, how you are going to prioritize your resources," Schuyler said. "It forces you to be effective and accomplish something."
The University of Richmond has need-blind admissions and is committed to meeting the financial needs of any accepted student, Schuyler said. Richmond's endowment already subsidizes each student's tuition roughly $16,000, Schuyler said. Nevertheless, energy, health care and inflation have risen rapidly, and therefore, decreasing the tuition would not be a realistic option, she said.
Other schools have kept their costs lower by having larger endowments, higher student-faculty ratios and lower-quality facilities, Schuyler said. Richmond spends a quarter of its budget on financial aid, she said.
Ali Amaral, President of the Class of 2011, suggested that the university could implement a policy under which students would pay the same amount all four years. Schuyler replied by saying the process could become complicated because the university would have to compensate for the years during which the endowment would have a negative 8 percent return.
Junior Senator Marissa White asked where athletics fit into the strategic plan. Ayers is dedicated to figuring out how to maximize and capitalize on what the university does in its athletic program, Schuyler said.
Freshman Christie Barrows, a representative for Spiders for a More Inclusive Community, discussed the response to the Cousins Studio Theater incident. Barrows recommended that students wear black ribbons and black t-shirts on Friday to show other students, faculty and alumni that they were concerned about what happened and were taking action. Students will not be wearing the shirts and ribbons to protest Ayers' innauguration.
After visitors spoke, class presidents, executive officers and committees gave their reports.
"I see a lot of potential in this body," WCGA president Generra Peck said. "We have an opportunity to expand the work of the previous body and move towards some effective action for Westhampton College. I also encourage all students to get in touch with their respective reps to address their concerns and take advantage of our student government"
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