United we stand, underfunded we fail…to care

By Ryan Rose
Guest Writer

November 15, 2012

Last year, students were faced with the threat of rising tuition costs due to budget cuts to education. For a while, everyone was angry and armed with facts to combat the unjust and detrimental attacks to public universities. Governor Tom Corbett wanted to take away our funding and we were going to stop him. We would do whatever it took to stand up to him.

And then he took away our funding. After all the rallying, all the protesting, he ignored us. We were warned that the politicians thought we were apathetic, so we fought really hard. We lost, and that made us even angrier—so angry, in fact, that we stopped protesting. We stopped caring.

This apathy is beginning to cost us more than tuition hikes. The faculty of Pennsylvania’s 14 state-owned universities is possibly going to go on strike because of a lack of contracts and because of higher health care deductibles. While our professors are negotiating through their union, we have been fairly unsupportive. We are here because of our professors. If not for our own sakes, it’s time to start caring again.

When there isn’t an election coming up, the subject of politics usually takes a back seat. No one is talking about the budget cuts or how problematic they’ve actually become. Now that it’s a reality, it’s not a concern. It seems like most political battles are hypothetical ones, and maybe that’s because it’s much easier to fight something that you don’t believe could actually defeat you.

We now live with the risen tuition costs and it simply does not matter to the politicians. If Governor Corbett thought to himself, “These kids seem angry now, but when it’s done, they won’t care,” then he was right. Have people forgotten everything that has happened, or did they just give up?

Maybe all the angry students graduated.

Ryan Rose is a senior majoring in English and can be contacted at rrose@lhup.edu.

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