President Tony Atwater testified before the state House Gaming Oversight Committee on May 7, 2009, in support of the proposed Tuition Relief Act, which involves legalizing video poker machines to provide college students with tuition relief.
Following are excerpts from media coverage of the event:
Indiana University of Pennsylvania President Dr. Tony Atwater said beyond the financial crisis gripping the country, there is another crisis that will affect generations to come if it’s not fixed now. ‘It is a crisis of our college students and our potential students in terms of access, affordability and indebtedness of higher education,’ Atwater said. Atwater was one of 11 people to testify on the proposed Tuition Relief Act before the state House Gaming Oversight Committee during a public hearing Thursday at Westmoreland County Community College near Youngwood.
—“IUP President Commends Bill Applying
Gambling Revenue to Tuition Relief,”Greensburg Tribune-Review, May 8, 2009
The presidents of Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Beaver County Community College testified about the positive impact the program would have, especially for low- to moderate-income students. Kathleen Shaw, state deputy secretary of postsecondary and higher education, touted the benefit of giving Pennsylvania a better-educated workforce without piling debt onto families.
—“Video Poker Merits Debated at Hearing,”Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 8, 2009
YOUNGWOOD, Pa. — On Thursday, a public hearing was held at Westmoreland County Community College as the debate regarding Gov. Ed Rendell’s plan to legalize video poker machines and use the tax revenue generated to fund college education revved up. It was the second of four hearings that will be held across the states by representatives gathering input on the issue. Indiana University of Pennsylvania President Dr. Tony Atwater welcomed the possible relief from gaming revenue, citing how some students are racking up debt and can no longer afford to go to class. ‘It is a crisis that deserves a solution and a solution now,’ said Atwater.
—WTAE-TV (Pittsburgh, Pa.), May 7, 2009
A public hearing on legalizing video poker machines to provide college students with tuition relief will be Thursday at Westmoreland County Community College. Scheduled to testify are representatives from the state departments of Revenue and Education, the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement, the Pennsylvania Tavern Association, the Pennsylvania Amusement and Music Machine Association as well as Dr. Joe D. Forrester, president of Community College of Beaver County, and Dr. Tony Atwater, president of Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
—“Hearing at WCCC Will Focus on Legalizing Video Poker,”Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, May 6, 2009
See an Op-Ed written by Atwater in support of the Tuition Relief Act and distributed to regional media in April 2009.