Student members of the Transition Advisory Team’s Student Experience subcommittee are worried about tuition raises and the increased emphasis on online courses.
The Student Experience subcommittee, which met Tuesday, is focusing on the student aspect of the University. It aims to increase graduation rates and career opportunities for LSU System students. It officially consists of 12 members, six of whom are students.
“In my three years as a law student, every year my tuition has gone up,” said James Sudduth, an LSU Law Center student. “I had a choice between Baylor and LSU, and I chose LSU mainly because of the finances, but ... I’m still going to graduate about $90,000 in debt.”
LSU Student Government President Taylor Cox, who is on the Technology and Operations subcommittee, attended the meeting and said he is worried about upcoming changes.
“We’ve been so blessed to have TOPS,” Cox said. “What we’re putting out is quality, but as TOPS is soon to change, I think that is going to hit us very hard.”
Sudduth said he is concerned about online courses diminishing the value of LSU.
“I have not yet seen the evidence to support that employers equate DeVry University and Phoenix with LSU,” Sudduth said. “We can become more technology savvy ... but we can devalue our University because of online courses.”
Renford Cindass, SG president at LSU Health New Orleans, said the student experience needs to be preserved.
“Our students are nationally competitive,” Cindass said. “I want to be sure that the student experience that we’re currently getting is making us nationally competitive is not adversely affected.”
Carroll Suggs, co-chair of the subcommittee, said student involvement is critical.
“How do we get students involved?” Suggs asked the members of the committee. “It’s very important that we can be trusted.”
Sudduth said students would be involved if they are directly affected.
“Students are apathetic until it affects them,” Sudduth said. “Until their tuition goes up, until they can’t take their courses ... The apathy is huge.”