Over spring break, the Board of Regents for Connecticut state schools approved a 5 percent tuition increase for the 2016 year. According to the CT Mirror, tuition has doubled in the past 13 years.
Yet today, after doing work in the library, I walked out to see a massive, cobalt, arm-flailing-tube-man outside the main entrance to Berkshire hall.
Of course, I knew that it was for the purpose of attracting students to WestConn; I had seen the flocks of 12th graders walking across the quad for a few months now. But as a student who participated in the college search, I know that not only that arm-flailing-tube-men do not attract me to universities, but also that they shun me away with their obscene tackiness.
As a student, what disgusts me is what this money could have gone to. The CT Board of Regents recently decided to issue a harsh ruling on University Professors—tenured professors at WCSU could have been shifted around to other schools, while the already high adjunct ratio would skyrocket. The only reason that the BOR was not able to ruin any sort of academia at WCSU was the AAUP stepping in to protest.
The fact is that Connecticut’s Scott Walker-esque austerity is crippling our school. WCSU, and its predecessor Danbury Teacher’s School, were founded to further education. The fact that tuition increases are becoming a fact of the Public School life only makes it all too easy to obstruct the goal that the CSU schools were founded upon.
This frivolous spending combined with tuition increases only amounts to less funding towards students’ education.
Is WestConn going private? Tuition hikes push away lower-income students, so are the tube-men infantry in WCSU’s army to court higher income *cough* white *cough* students. This sounds a lot like for-profit schools like DeVry University, or University of Phoenix…or Trump University. These schools provide less than satisfactory education, for a higher than palatable price.
Obviously, this is somewhat an exaggeration. Google whacky-inflatable-arm-flailing-tube-men, and you’ll see that they can cost less than $100. But it is this pattern of spending hikes that worries me.
It is not the fact that whacky-inflatable-arm-flailing-tube-men are on our campus that bothers me. It is the fact that our campus spent our tuition dollars buying whacky-inflatable-arm-flailing-tube-men that bothers me.
It is now understandable and normal for prestigious colleges to have sushi bars (which ours now does), or other luxuries of the like, but WCSU is not UConn. Our school does not have millions of dollars to pay for a basketball coach (as the CT government allows UConn to do) coming from out-of-state students (and tax dollars). With what little money we are given, our school needs to fulfill its first priority: educating students to their highest potential.
And I’m just not sure that whacky-inflatable-arm-flailing-tube-colonials will do that job.
Western Connecticut State University is not a used car dealership. It is a university. We should treat it as such.