Wow! Campus is a mess. I come back and see my not-so-long-ago
fears have come true.
Higher education is usually first in line for the state funding
chopping block. A few years ago I was fretting for the future for
my soon-to-be beloved alma mater as CSU was scrambling to solve a
difficult paradox: provide the resources for a growing student body
while facing huge cuts in state funding.
The problems were really just starting when I graduated, and now
that I am back, I have witnessed the damage the university has
I am sure many of you have noticed how crowded our campus has
become. There are now more than 25,042 of us. All of us require
unique university services to satisfy our educational needs. First
and foremost on our list of needs are smaller classrooms and more
class sections, something the university simply cannot provide in
Many teachers have fallen by the wayside because the university
simply cannot afford them. This, obviously, reduces the number of
class sections available. Adding to the problem is the huge volume
of students trying to get into these classrooms.
My poor British Literature instructor is facing a huge workload
for her generosity. She recently e-mailed us Brit Lit enthusiasts
saying she will allow overrides for more students than she
originally intended because she understands our need to take the
class, learn and eventually graduate.
With an already huge workload herself, she has to carry the
extra burden of educating more students because the Colorado
government has apparently decided higher education is not as
important as funding highway construction projects. And, despite
her best efforts, the quality of education declines because she is
stretched out so thin.
Sure, every part of Colorado is experiencing growing pains and
we need a renovated highway system, but as a future teacher and
current student I can’t fathom why our basic funding needs are
sacrificed at the expense of so many other “necessities.” After
all, higher education is grooming the future leaders of our state,
country and world.
To CSU’s credit, those who work within the administration have
worked diligently to assure students will get the best education
possible regardless of state cuts. I can’t imagine what would
happen if we didn’t have so many people at CSU who didn’t put
students’ needs first.
I could complain about the state government’s lack of enthusiasm
in helping us students and teachers out because I honestly feel
elected officials could do more to prioritize higher education, but
everyone is in a tough pickle. There is simply not enough money to
But I can complain about an electorate – you guys – who put
other needs ahead of higher education. We elect our
representatives, but we let them set the agenda. We let them decide
what is important and let them choose what is and isn’t a
Vote, whine and complain. College students are probably the most
immobilized political group, and that is why our needs are often
sacrificed. Sure, we won’t always be college students, but our
society lives and thrives through education.
Preserving and improving higher education sets the foundation
for our future world, and that foundation’s crack will only get
larger if we don’t fix it.