I have seen with a huge disappointment the budget proposals that are on the table for next year. Looking at how some Ga. lawmakers shamelessly despise higher education is simply disheartening and very disheartening when you think twice about it and you realize that they are about to sacrifice what will be the future leaders of the state and of the nation.
What strikes me most are the regular “doomsday” letters we get from our President telling us all about the bad news and psychologically preparing us for some catastrophic tuition raises. Still, it is much better than what we got two years ago when we were advised two weeks before the end of the Fall semester of some new academic fees.
But our administration is not doing its best to protect us, our parents or the labs that do pay our tuitions. From what I heard, the budget proposals ask for some substantial tuition increases as well as some drastic increases in fees. Some of you may not care but think twice about it: in the end, it will be you, your parents or your advisor that will have to pay several thousand dollars more per year. Isn’t there anything else we can do to limit this impact?
In hard times such as the one we are experiencing right now, I am surprised by the number of ancillary fees that pop up in our Tech bill every semester. Athletic fees, activity fees, transportation fees… Do we really need all that? Do they actually deliver something that is useful? Is everything on our bill really worth it?
I am convinced that we need to scale back on some of the services we have. The impact of the crisis shall not impact only our families and our advisors. We need to scale back on the service expectation we have as well as on our own quality of life. Are you willing to substantially increase your debt to have the CRC open until midnight every day? Are you willing to substantially impact your parents’ budget to have the Library open 24/7?
But the main issue I see is prioritization. There will be little revenue in the coming years so we need to prioritize our spending as is done in every other business. Every day when I go to Tech I continue to see relentless construction all over the campus. Do we really need all that right now? Cannot we postpone some of that for better days?
Of course many in the administration think it is good to invest in the future of Tech. Maybe, but with what funding? The money that comes from our empty pockets? When everything goes well it might be worth it. But here we are spending millions a day to build the CULC and at the same time the State asks Tech to limit enrollment of new freshmen. So do we need this building right now?
In addition, we are spending tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars bringing down what used to be the North Avenue Graduate Apartments. Do we really have to do that right now? Can’t we save money on that? Cannot this wait for better times?
So my questions are: Is the administration really aware of the hardship we will endure and is it doing its best to alleviate the budget crisis impact on us, students, professors and staff? Is it necessary to fork several million a day to build buildings that are supposed to accommodate future students that may never come if Tech caps enrollment? Can’t we live with what we have now until the situation recovers?
I read your article in the Technique on student debt [“Student debt will hinder future growth,” printed March 5] and am curious as to who you think should pay for your education. Tech has got to be one of the best values in the nation. If tuition goes from $3400 to $4000 in-state how could anyone possibly complain? I have managed to keep my student loans low because 1) Tech is inherently cheap and 2) I have worked part-time within my field of study all during school.
This economy hits everyone and it will inevitably hit students. But students have the benefit of extra low interest rates, generally low responsibilities, and plenty of time to pay things off. If every facet of government and society are expected to take a hit, students need to be in that line as well. I’ll bet you could have gone to a local college on a full scholarship for free. But you chose to come to Tech because you wanted to invest in yourself. That was your decision with knowledge of all the costs. Students can and should take advantage of any monetary opportunities given to them but ultimately they need to be the ones responsible for the costs of their own education.