Intercom discusses tuition increases, retention rates, game-day etiquette

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    Student behavior issues at the Iowa State game Saturday were discussed at Intercom's bi-weekly meeting on Thursday night in addition to the university's budget and financial aid allocation processes. A tuition increase was also discussed.

    The primary topic was Vice Chancellor of Student Affair Kathy Cavins-Tull’s email regarding unruly fan behavior at the Iowa State game Saturday, sent only minutes before she arrived to the meeting.

    Cavins-Tull told Intercom members, “We need to be the TCU we are,” stressing that the university is not known for a reputation such as the rowdy behavior, and that it was disappointing for her to hear about the bad fan behavior.

    Cavins-Tull said the Iowa State game was the first game of the season that students wore coats, which were not checked upon entering the stadium. She believed this was how students may have brought in alcohol.

    “A bottle of whiskey was thrown at one of the coaches on the Iowa side,” Cavins-Tull said, "along with many other glass bottles."

    Cavins-Tull said this was the first 2012 season home game without a tailgate, and that this may have been why alcohol was more prevalent inside the stadium. She said tailgates provide a more controlled environment for alcohol.

    “We’re going to lose on our home turf. It’s going to happen,” Cavins-Tull said. She went on to say that students need to be able to accept losses, and not react inappropriately.

    Cavins-Tull said there is phone number for students and fans to text when they feel the need to report an incident during a game. She said this number is “on the scoreboard.”

    A few members of Intercom said the ‘one free guest’ policy at the Iowa game could be linked to fan rowdiness.

    “We need to live by the student creed…leading with integrity, that’s the biggest thing," said SGA president Brent Folan. "We set the example as leaders, and personally I feel that we are leaders of the Big 12, both on and off the field, so our actions need to reflect that in the future.”

    Additionally, Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships Mike Scott spoke at the Intercom meeting.

    Scott addressed questions from members of Intercom regarding the university's budget for financial aid, scholarships, tuition and endowments as well as the university's retention rate.

    Scott said the budget for financial aid is more than $60 million this year, and that the most money goes toward academic scholarships and need-based grants.

    In regards to tuition increase, Scott said students whose parents retain the same amount of earnings each year still remain eligible for aid.

    The endowment is currently around $1.2 billion. However, it constantly fluctuates, Scott said. The university spends 5 percent of that money. 

    “Our endowment has performed above average,” he said.

    Scott went on to talk about TCU’s retention rate, saying “in the past few years it was 82 percent, but has jumped to 90 percent [since last year].”

    Scott said the national average is 82 percent, and that it became a goal for the university to make their retention rate higher. He said the most common reason students leave the university is a lack of social connections, and said he wanted to work to improve those issues.

    Scott concluded his talk by saying the Board of Trustees will be voting on the tuition increase on Nov. 9. Chancellor Victor Boschini will send out his email announcing their decision to students and parents the following Monday.

    “You are the last thing [the Board of Trustees] hear,” he said, explaining that the Board of Trustees will meet with Intercom minutes before they ‘close the doors’ to make their decision on tuition increase in November.

    Marisol Sigala, the only current Inclusiveness & Intercultural Services chair on the Intercom board, suggested that Intercom now hold private half-hour meetings prior to their regular meetings.

    The group agreed it would give them time to become more organized.

    Folan concluded the Intercom meeting with a few general remarks about Homecoming, saying a ‘[email protected]’ will be e-mailed to students in the near future regarding Homecoming week activities.

    Intercom will meet again at 5:45 p.m. on Oct. 25. Location is TBD.

    Below is the live stream of the meeting: