During the Feb. 13 Clemson Undergraduate Student Government meeting, it was discussed that the inflation percentages for Clemson Housing and Dining Services had been changed to account for the next academic school year.

There will be a 3.4% price inflation increase for all housing costs for students living on campus, along with a 4% increase for dining services in the next academic year for all undergraduate students, according to Kathy Hobgood, the associate vice president for auxiliary enterprises.

"The inflation percentages are pretty normal, and it happens usually every school year to account for inflation and other exterior factors," Hobgood said. "These percentages are a decent percentage, but this ensures the numbers for next semester."

In addition, plans for the future of Thornhill Village will be coming, as Clemson Home plans to redesign the units to be multiple stories with more allocated to students living on campus.

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In my personal capacity, as the unopposed candidate for President of the Clemson Graduate Student Government (I'm Geoff Gilson by the way), I'm not totally happy with anyone in Clemson administration describing any rise in the cost of anything at Clemson in the order of 3-4% as "normal." Not when Jim Clements said in the summer of 2022: "Keeping a Clemson education affordable for our students and parents remains a top priority for our University." Not when tuition fees for the 2023-2024 academic year for graduate students rose some 5% last October. Not when there have been no announcements about commensurate increases in financial aid. Not when certain graduate student leaders are still fighting day and night for campus-wide increases in stipends for graduate assistants. We all love Clemson. We wouldn't be here otherwise. But that doesn't mean we couldn't be doing better. If I am elected President of GSG, I will respectfully request of Clemson administration, which runs a university reporting extremely healthy finances, that it more carefully consider the impact of "normal" inflation increases on less-than-wealthy students, who are already struggling to meet the cost of President Clements' "affordable" education. In the meantime, I wonder if Clemson administration could more carefully and respectfully consider the impact of descriptions like "normal" on those same members of our Clemson family. [These comments are my own opinions, and do not reflect any official position of GSG.]

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