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Mandatory tuition fees raise concerns

NJPIRG has historically been a source of controversy at the University because of the mandatory inclusion of its student fee on students’ term bills. While students have the option of opting out of the fee, NJPIRG is still financed by University students on the pretense of addressing the issues facing our student body. In this context, we are forced to question why our student-contributed money is being used in … Arizona?

It is a source of discontent for us that NJPIRG money is being attributed to student chapters in other states. In 2010, NJPIRG allotted $120,234 to Arizona PIRG for the purpose of opening up a new student chapter. Two years later, that Arizona student chapter still does not exist, and University students’ money has not primarily gone toward what we expected. While the money goes to support student activism in other states and in the national chapter in Washington, D.C., we feel that this does not do University students justice, who allow the NJPIRG fee to remain on their term bills under the impression that they would be benefitting if not their own concerns, then those of New Jersey students as a whole.

We would like to see greater transparency about NJPIRG’s activities, especially prior to students’ payment of the student fee. It is unacceptable that we do not know exactly what our money is going toward and how it is supposedly helping our interests. Our University is not the only university capable of funding other PIRG chapters and so should not be held to that responsibility. Our student body’s money should go straight to helping the student body.

With the Targum’s referendum coming up this year, we pride ourselves on using student money to directly benefit the students with our services right on campus. We hope that NJPIRG can uphold the same standard.

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