by Walter Kraft, Published May 25, 2010
YPSILANTI - When an estimated 1,700 Eastern Michigan University students, staff and faculty members participated in a picnic in front of the Student Center last week, they had no idea they would be making national news. The May 25 edition of USA Today, with a nationwide daily circulation of 1,891,604, features a photograph of Eastern’s “0%” image created by people attending the picnic.
The picnic, which took place on Thursday, May 20, was called, “Yes, There IS a FREE Lunch, in recognition of Eastern’s “0,0,0” tuition, room and board freeze for 2010-2011. Attendees were gathered into a giant “0%,” and video and photographs were taken from the rooftop of the Student Center. In the caption to the photograph, which was taken by Eastern photographer Randy Mascharka, USA Today refers to it as, “…a big fat zero…”
The USA Today story in which the photo is published is headlined “Public Colleges, Universities grapple with tuition hikes,” includes a quote from Eastern Michigan University Student Government President Antonio Cosme, and references that Eastern is one of only three colleges in the nation to freeze tuition of those that have announced so far this year. The article can be found on page 6D of the publication, and online at http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2010-05-25-tuition25_ST_N.htm.
“We are pleased to see the positive national recognition resulting from the enthusiasm of our students, faculty and staff to the ‘0’ initiative,” said Walter Kraft, vice president for communications at Eastern Michigan University. “The picnic was a great event and an appropriate way for the University community to celebrate our commitment to keeping higher education affordable and accessible.”
More information on Eastern Michigan University’s “0,0,0” initiative, along with a comprehensive list of media coverage and comparison data, can be found at www.emich.edu/zero.