By Megan Greve
Michael Adeyanju knows Gov. Ted Strickland gets a lot of important mail, but he hopes Ohio's top official has time to ponder one letter due to cross his desk in the next day or two.
The correspondence is designed to draw attention to a recent Ohio University Student Senate resolution commending Strickland for making higher education a priority despite the poor economy and the difficult decisions it prompts for state officials.
Adeyanju, president of Student Senate and co-sponsor of the resolution with Commissioner for Off-Campus Life Michaela Hawn-Lawson, said the measure is important because it lets the governor and state legislators know the value of their work in keeping tuition costs down for Ohio families.
The resolution notes Strickland's call for a tuition freeze in fiscal 2010 and a tuition cap allowing an increase of no more than 3.5 percent in fiscal 2011. It also urges the governor and the Board of Regents to "further protect higher education in the state of Ohio and continue to find ways to lower the cost of tuition in the University System of Ohio."
"With the way the economy is and affordability [of college] being an issue, their efforts need to be recognized," Adeyanju said of why Student Senate passed the resolution.
As a member of the Ohio University's Budget Planning Council, Adeyanju said he sees first-hand the work that goes into keeping university expenses down and considering new sources of revenue. He said he wanted something that would go directly to the governor, but knew it wasn't likely he could speak with him one-on-one.
In addition to Strickland, Adeyanju sent copies of the resolution Monday to Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Eric Fingerhut, all Ohio senators and representatives, and Ohio University leaders.
"Your commitment to freezing tuition for the next fiscal year is something that should not be taken lightly in this economic climate," Adeyanju wrote in a letter accompanying the resolution. "We recognize that the support of higher education comes at the sacrifice of other state agencies.
"Ohio University is dedicated to protecting its core mission, and to do that we need state support and continued advocacy to protect higher education," he continued. "We believe in your leadership and dedication to helping students, and we want you to know that we are behind you 100 percent."
Johnnie Lewis, a Bowling Green State University student who chairs the Ohio Student Government Association, said that statewide network of student government leaders plans to sign on to the Ohio University resolution. Ohio State University's University Senate, composed of faculty, administrators and students, passed a similar resolution earlier this month.