Grad school activities fee reeks of tyranny (Letter to the editor)

Peter Hsieh

The Graduate School overstepped its bounds in dictating student transportation choice by making the purchase of the U-Pass mandatory. Since $56 of the $60 “activity” fee pays for the Chicago Transit Authority program, it is in truth a transportation fee.

Students cannot opt out of paying the fee or getting a refund if they do not need the U-Pass. The university’s policy financially benefits commuter students who ride the CTA at the expense of those who walk, ride or drive to school. Why should the university decide how we spend our transportation dollars?

While the Graduate School claims popular support for the U-Pass, that does not make it right. If the only way we can have the U-Pass is by forcing people who have no use for it to pay regardless, then we don’t need it. A tyranny of the majority is still tyranny. Allow students to opt out of the program without any financial penalties. It is only fair.

– peter hsieh

Fifth year graduate student

Materials Science