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Reverse the decision to impose the new fee for international students

Dear Board of Regents,

We, Registered Student Organizations and others, represent broad student constituencies in University of Washington, domestic and international, undergraduate and graduate. We appreciate the difficult task you face as our governing body and truly appreciate the work you’ve done to supervise, coordinate, manage and regulate the University in the current budget situation.

We’re writing to urge you to reverse your decision to impose a new fee on international students, which will cost an additional $45 per quarter beginning Fall quarter 2013. This fee unfairly targets students who make our institutions, communities and state a better place.

We consider this to be unacceptable. We believe that one subset of the student population should not be singled out to pay for services that may or may not support them. While some international students may choose to participate in a single campus organization (FIUTS) named in the proposal, many others turn to different RSOs on campus that are opposed to this fee. Moreover international students are being required to provide resources to address an increase in “student misconduct,” yet your own proposal states that domestic students were responsible for well over half of the reported cases in 2011-2012.

When combined with tuition increases this quarterly $45 charge will be a burden to many international students. Furthermore there is no promise that it will NOT increase later. International students cannot work off campus and have even less access to financial aid than domestic students. This fee will obviously make them harder to earn the education they deserve. As you correctly pointed out to the State Legislature, increases like this make the University of Washington a less welcoming place for international scholars who are considering coming here for school.

We are all depending on your leadership to cancel this quarterly fee and any other fees in the future targeted only at international students. We urge you to help promote equal academic opportunity and cultural diversity so we can continue our dream of earning an education in the land of freedom and equality.

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