March 19, 1973.
On this day, the IUPUI Sagamore, the student newspaper, published an extensive opinion piece by Don Curtis, president of the IUPUI Student Senate, outlining inequities in state funding for public universities in Indiana and highlighting that IUPUI was at the bottom of the list of state institutions for per-capita funding for non-health students. He stated that such meager funding for IUPUI was unacceptable.
Curtis's piece laid out in detail the inequities baked into the Commission for Higher Education's (CHE) budget recommendation. Despite initial efforts to fund IUPUI at the same level as Indiana University's regional campuses, a cut in funding from the State Budget Agency resulted in a CHE recommendation to allocate to IUPUI only a fraction of the funding given to the regionals on a per capita basis. Furthermore, IUPUI funding per student was roughly one-third of that proposed for Purdue University-West Lafayette and far less than half that for IU-Bloomington.
Cuts by the General Assembly to higher-education funding had resulted in tuition increases. IUPUI students, many of whom worked fulltime and paid for their own educations, could be faced with 50 percent tuition increases, Curtis suggested.
Curtis noted that "Student Government is attempting to influence the legislature to appropriate funds that will allow IUPUI to maintain its current programs without raising tuition." He urged eloquently that students write letters to legislators and members of the CHE. The Student Senate supplied sample letters and even postage in the lobby of Cavanaugh Hall.
In the early 1970s, when IUPUI was struggling to get its legs and higher-education funding took a hit during an economic recession, many students avidly advocated for the institution. In this period of student activism, they worked diligently to push for equitable treatment of the new campus. Student government played a prominent role in raising student awareness and organizing student efforts.
To learn more about student activism at IUPUI, please consult records in IUPUI Special Collections and Archives. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.