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SGA divided on how to respond to murder

Two-part resolution would send condolences and put pressure on administration to lower tuition

Published: Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Updated: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 15:02

SGA Murder

Harrison Bigler

Tyler Wilkinson-Ray addresses the SGA on Feb. 9. The group discussed issues ranging from the Marchand Resolution to the Student Neighborhodd Resolution.

The murder of prospective student Olivia Marchand has left the SGA wondering how the student body should respond to the tragedy.

Brian Marchand shot his daughter, who was planning on attending UVM this fall, after a dispute involving the cost of tuition, according to the Boston Herald.

The SGA is undecided over whether or not to pass a resolution that would combine sending the condolences to the Marchand family with putting pressure on the administration to lower the cost of tuition.

The SGA was divided on whether or not to pass the resolution, because of the connection it draws between the shooting and the cost of tuition. 

"You should divide this resolution in two," Senator German Vivas said.  

The economic element and the tragedy should be handled in separate resolutions, she said.

Other senators agreed.

The resolution puts too much blame on the University, Senator Josh Benes said.

"It is more about sending condolences to the family," Benes said.

However, some senators said they supported both parts of the resolution.

The administration should be ashamed for having such high tuition, Senator Marty Frye said.

"I don't know how they sleep at night," he said. "[The cost of tuition] is too much."

Other senators said they support the resolution because of its emotional element.

 "It says that we care about our community members," Senator Mike Glynne said.

Some students said they are concerned about the resolution.

The two parts of the resolution are unrelated, sophomore Aaron Rice said.

"You can't use that one [incident] as data [indicating] they should lower tuition," Rice said.

Rice said he was also concerned that the resolution ignores the realities of the budget.

"[The administrators] are not just increasing [tuition] because they want to — they have costs," he said.

However, students also said they support the condolences and realize that tuition can be a burden on families.

Paying to come here can cause a lot of stress, sophomore Kailey Schillinger said. "Going to school where you want shouldn't put a strain on your family."

Whether or not the tuition is too high, some senators at the meeting said they were also hesitant to approve of the resolution because they lacked information.

At the time of the meeting, the senators did not have any sources other than the one article from the Boston Herald.

 "We can't just use one source of information," Chair Nick Carafelli said.

Reaching no agreement, the senators elected to postpone voting on the resolution until a future meeting. 

 Either way, it's important to send condolences, Schillinger said. "Whether or not [the resolution] passes, that should happen."

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