Students should remain positive in wake of budget cuts
September 18, 2015
It’s no secret that UWRF and the whole UW-System have faced harsh cuts. And with the ongoing tuition freeze, it is impossible for colleges, including UWRF, to recoup their losses in income. Evidence can be seen as class sizes get bigger and the number of familiar faculty faces gets smaller. Students across the UW-System are seeing these changes, and it’s not hard to look at the effects of these cuts and feel as though your education doesn’t matter, that the people in charge don’t care about whether or not you receive your liberal arts degree.
But it’s important to remember that as students working to better ourselves through a higher education, we can’t give up. We can’t allow ourselves to believe what is now apparent in Wisconsin — that we’re meant to be workers, meant to have a job, not a career. We need to strive for success, now more than ever. It will be difficult not to let budget cuts get to us, but staying positive is now more important than ever.
It is also important for students to remember that we are not the only ones dealing with budget cuts. Our professors, the people who we sometimes take for granted, have been handed the worst part of the deal. With about 50 faculty positions being cut from UWRF alone and the future of tenure still in jeopardy, it is a hard time to be an educator. So the next time you’re complaining about assignments or falling asleep in class, remember that your professor is still working hard, despite the fact that their jobs may no longer be stable.
It should go without saying, but students should avoid talking to friends or looking down at the phone while their professors are speaking. These are people who accept the risks of the job because of a passion for their field and for teaching students. The least a student could do is show respect and appreciation for the effort put forth by their professor to help them advance in the world.
Students are also paying more this academic year after voting collectively last year to add a $175 segregated fee — ramping up to $200 next year and in the future — to support maintenance of the Falcon Center which is currently under construction. That’s not a bad thing, though. It is good to see UWRF undergoing improvements in the face of these budget cuts rather than simply crumbling under the pressure.
The point is that, at the end of the day, while the budget cuts have taken their toll on UWRF just as they have at other UW-System colleges, the spirit and togetherness of our tightly-knit community remains perfectly intact; and that is something worth appreciating.