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To the editor: U. policies amount to student tax

To the Editor:

The fact that administrators are opposed to the possibility of its students being taxed is surprising to me. As a recent graduate who lived off campus during my senior year, I find the position Brown has taken to the very idea of the tax woefully ironic.

For many years, Brown has charged students an off-campus non-residential fee totaling about $600 per year. Yes, for those of you who are surprised, Brown charges you for not living on campus. Why, you ask? Brown claims that this fee is to cover the cost of your using their toilets, various facilities and mail room (something I always figured my astronomical tuition covered).

While I don't wish to embolden the state's legislature, and while I do not encourage the taxation of students, I will say that it surprises me that students are more upset about this tax than they are at the administrators who artificially inflate the cost of living off campus.

If Brown wants to remain intellectually honest about this debate, it should repeal its off-campus housing fee and apologize to those of us who had to pay it in the past (preferably in the form of a check covering the costs we incurred). Otherwise, ladies and gentlemen, take a look at your University. This is what hypocrisy looks like.

Joshua Unseth '08
Sept. 10

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