Student leaders across the city of Pittsburgh are pleased to note the increasing level of good-faith cooperation and collaboration between university leaders and city officials over the last few weeks, which has led to the withdrawal of the mayor's proposed tuition tax on students ("City, Nonprofits Reach Deal to Avert Tuition Tax," Dec. 21 Web; "Mayor Drops Tuition Tax," Dec. 22). We would especially like to extend our gratitude to council members Tonya Payne and Theresa Kail-Smith for their courage, fortitude and genuine efforts at mediating the agreement that resulted in the withdrawal of the proposal, as well as council members Bill Peduto, Bruce Kraus, Doug Shields and Patrick Dowd for taking a principled stand against the tuition tax from the beginning.
We're proud that our city will be moving forward and continuing its long tradition of excellence in higher education. The 10,000 students who signed petitions opposing the tax, the standing-room-only City Council chambers during the public comments, and the numerous students personally lobbying City Council members attest to the fact that students in Pittsburgh don't just drop by for four years - they're integral members of the neighborhoods and communities in which they learn, live and work. We hope and expect that Pittsburgh's students will stay active in shaping the future of Pittsburgh.
Now it's time for the city of Pittsburgh to work with all of its nonprofits to lobby for a real and sustainable solution to Pittsburgh's budgetary problems. We look forward to helping find such an approach.
Undergraduate Student Senate
Carnegie Mellon University
University of Pittsburgh Graduate & Professional Student Assembly