Students protest tuition changes at Shaw University

EMBED </>More Videos

Students protest at Shaw University.

Students who say they were depending on money for the coming school year protested a decision by Shaw University President-elect Tashni Dubroy Tuesday to shift some tuition discounts from the band and athletic programs to the choir, students who have GPAs of 3.5 or above, and the Honors College.

"The justification for these actions is quite explicable when viewed in tandem with my overarching fiscal responsibility to Shaw University and to our university's history of rewarding students, especially those who exhibit excellence in their academic studies," wrote Dubroy in a memo explaining the decision.

But some band members told ABC11 that they only learned of the change when they arrived for band camp this week.

"It was criminal to get these kids here under false pretenses," said Band Director Charles Brown - who spoke with ABC11 as an individual, not as a representative of the school.

Brown said the Platinum Sound Marching Band generates a lot of money for the school, but now it's taking a hit.

"I have lost 28 freshman and five returning students, 33 students total, who refuse to come because they can't afford to," said Brown.

The tuition discount for band students was $7,500. Dubroy held an impromptu meeting with the protesting students Tuesday.

"We cannot be sustainable by giving away a discount situation. It's not a scholarship," she said.

Dubroy said students with high GPAs get no academic support while the band gets a total of $525,000 in scholarship funds annually. The football team receives $550,000, and the men's and women's basketball teams split $500,000.

Dubroy said a reallocation of scholarship money was needed to address declining enrollment. While that sounds fair enough, students are angry about the timing of the announcement - so close to the start of the school year.

"After we paid for physicals, after we paid for housing, and paid for gas money to get down here, why haven't we been notified of this situation?" asked junior Devon Dobe.
The president's office says the financial office was supposed to notify students a month ago, but many have only - as of this week - just found out.

Dubroy said she is working with the school's athletic director to increase fundraising to pay for more scholarships for student-athletes, but she said Band Director Brown did not agree to work on more fundraising for band members.

Report a Typo
Related Topics:
(Copyright ©2018 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.)