Letter to the Editor

By Paul Streitz '66, Director, College Parent Association

‘Just say no!’ to rising tuition

Dear Students, Parents, Alumni:
The Hamilton College tuition extortion racket will continue indefinitely unless students and parents collectively refuse to pay the tuition increase that is coming in the spring of 2014. “Just say No!”

Individually students and parents are helpless against the financial exploitation of the Board of Trustees. Collectively, students and parents can financially control the College. The students and parents are the largest financiers of the College, yet they are totally unrepresented in the self-selecting Board of Trustees. “Tuition without Representation”

President Stewart’s $700,000 is an outrage. Hamilton Students leave the college collectively $2 million in debt, one third due to Stewart’s salary alone.

The student loan program is indentured servitude for the students least able to pay. It should be replaced by increased scholarships.  Further, the college should pay back outstanding student loans for tuition that has been extorted from students and parents. A small redistribution from the pockets of the wealthy faculty and administration would finance this. If you want to tax the rich, you can start with the Hamilton administration and faculty.

If Hamilton’s tuition had been raised the rate of inflation each year since 1960, it would be $8,701 instead of the outrageous $45,620. Tuition will be $50,000 in 2016 and $60,000 in 2020. The coffers will be so full that President Stewart will have a million dollar plus salary.

Tuition can be stabilized and then reduced, when Hamilton’s finances are controlled by a Student-Parent-Alumni Coalition. Excessive administrative staff removed, salaries trimmed and useless departments and functions eliminated. The College will then be run for the benefit of the students, not for the benefit of the Administration and Faculty.

The Internet makes possible the organization of some eighteen thousand members of the Hamilton Community, creating the ability to communicate and take collective action. It can only be hoped that Hamilton students will see this need and create such an organization. An elective body controlling tuition would in effect become the governing body of Hamilton College because it would control the revenue stream to the College. “Tuition with Representation.”

While Hamilton students are quick to seek social justice for those afar, they seem to avoid the problem of financial justice for themselves, their fellow students and their parents. However, unless student and parent leadership emerges that is willing to organize and engage in a real world struggle for control of the College, Hamilton students and their parents will be subject to the continued financial exploitation of the Board of Trustees.

—Paul Streitz ’66
Director, College Parent Association


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