IOWA CITY, Iowa -- "It does seem like there have been a lot of new buildings popping up...I`m sure there are areas where they could cut down on construction until a later time," said Olivia von Gries, a UI Sophomore. "I think there are better places to make cuts as opposed to scholarships, but I don`t know what the perfect solution would be. I don`t know if there is a perfect solution because money`s a big issue," said Libby Chelsvig, a UI Freshman. "Sports, probably sporting, stuff like that...," suggested Evan Hood, a UI Junior.
From sports, to the construction of new state of the art facilities on campus, students said there are a variety of other areas to consider cutting before looking at scholarships. "I would think so, I mean, we`re the lifeblood of this University. I mean, it doesn`t work without us, so I mean they should definitely look for ways to keep students here and not allow them to lose their scholarships, and foster a lot of good Iowa education," said Hood. "I think at the end of the day, money`s money, so taking away scholarships, not matter what they`re for, is a big deal...and I`m sure there were other things they could have cut," said Julia Davidson, a UI Senior.
Students also said they think UI made the decision to take away scholarships without fully thinking it through. "There`s been a lot of student and parent outcry about this and a lot of people would have gone to different schools if they had known that (their) scholarship would have been taken away, so I definitely think they (UI) didn`t consider the recourse of this action," said von Gries.
That's an opinion shared by attorney Steven Wandro, who filed a lawsuit against the University on behalf of the students whose scholarships had been taken away. "We felt very strongly, as our clients felt, that what happened to them was just absolutely wrong," said Wandro. Wandro says the decision to take away the scholarships was illegal, because the government can't take something away from you without justly compensating you, and he also believes it was a breach of contract.
Wandro hopes the University has learned an important lesson. "Yes, live up to your word. It`s that simple. You know, when you tell a student, you`re going to give them money, and you give it to them, don`t take it back. Don`t pull the rug out from under them. Don`t change the rules in the middle of the game," said Wandro.
The University of Iowa caused an uproar last week when it announced it was eliminating student scholarships to deal with state funding cuts. The University now says it will reinstate those scholarships to about 2500 students. Today's about-face comes after getting an earful from parents and students and two lawsuits were filed.