Short takes on the news
Boosting tuition, but less • University of Utah students and prospective students can breathe a bit easier about paying the growing cost of higher education. The U. board of trustees has approved a 4.4 percent hike in tuition and fees, to be added to the statewide rate to be set by the Board of Regents later this month. That's the smallest increase in more than 10 years. Utah State University's bump will be 0 to 2 percent above the statewide increase. Over the past decade, state funding for higher education has shrunk, forcing individual colleges and universities in the Beehive State to put more of the burden on students. Any respite from that trend is welcome, because the trillion-dollar debt shouldered by U.S. students in the form of loans has become a drag on their future ability to make a living as well as a concern for the U.S. economy.
Scoring at gaming • When Utah legislators talk about encouraging more Utah youths to study engineering, math, science and technology, they probably don't have video-game design in mind as one of the lucrative careers such training would make possible. But Utah students are on the cutting edge of this very popular craze, and that can mean some very well-paid careers. The University of Utah's undergraduate video game design program was named the best in the country Tuesday, beating 150 other institutions in the rankings published by The Princeton Review and PC Gamer magazine. The school's graduate program also was recognized, coming in at No. 2. It's not rocket science, and game designers may never be nominated for the Nobel prize, but the U. program is serving Utah well.
Seeking protection • Human relationships all too often lead to violence, and people don't need to be married or living together for life-threatening situations to develop. That's why HB50, which will allow anyone at least 18 years old who has been a victim of violence to get a protective order against a dating partner, is so important. The law now covers only spouses or people who have lived together to get this protection from law enforcement. The dating protective order, lasting 180 days, provides punishment as a Class B misdemeanor for violations. Similar bills have been repeatedly defeated in the Legislature for weak reasons: Orders could be obtained for frivolous reasons; same-sex couples could take advantage of the law as well as straight couples (and why not?); somehow they could infringe on gun rights (paranoia running rampant). This law is long overdue.