Salt Lake Community College President Deneece G. Huftalin hosted a public hearing for a proposed tuition increase Thursday at the Taylorsville Redwood Campus.
The attendance was high at the hearing, which was also live-streamed at the South City Campus and in the HTC Lobby at the Jordan Campus, and online through the SLCC Student Association Facebook page.
“We haven’t had this kind of engagement for 27 years,” notes Huftalin.
Huftalin highlighted key faculty positions, student advising, campus safety, and mental health services as core institutional needs.
“More and more, we have violence appearing on our campus,” says Huftalin.
Huftalin outlined potential solutions to halt future incidents from occurring, such as additional lighting in the parking lots and better accessibility to filing police reports.
Huftalin stresses that an exact list of how they will use the funds they receive isn’t going to be as accurate as they would like, since it is unknown what the legislature will decide until the first couple weeks of April.
“My goal is to keep tuition as low as possible, but if the state doesn’t fund, we pay more tuition,” explains Huftalin.
When asked if funds can go toward training current advisors instead of hiring more, Huftalin says students should first give feedback to advisors to address any immediate concerns.
“We need to know the problem to fix and then react accordingly … Do not wait until you go to the university to receive advisement,” says Huftalin. “If you think you got bad advice, speak to another advisor. We don’t want students to be unaware that they are on the wrong track.”
Huftalin also addressed whether the student fees paid each semester are going toward the students who are financially struggling the most.
“We are trying to create more scholarships for students who are struggling,” says Huftalin. “It is essential to fill out FAFSA and find out if you are PEL eligible. Many students don’t know they are [eligible] and it is the best money you can receive as a student – money you don’t have to repay.”